House Passes Legislation Unlocking More Federal Dollars

Update: On March 25, 2024 a conference committee comprised of three members from both chambers was appointed to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of this bill.

FEBRUARY 28, 2024

Representative Mike Connolly joined his Cambridge and Somerville colleagues in the House today to pass a S.2554An Act to provide for competitiveness and infrastructure investment in Massachusetts which will enable the Commonwealth to leverage the interest earned by the Stabilization Fund, which currently stands at a historically high balance of $8.2 billion, to bolster our ability to compete for federal funds and pay down debt obligations, such as pensions and other post-employment benefits. With the passage of this bill, Massachusetts will be able to more aggressively compete for federal funding made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act.

"So many important projects in my district like the Green Line Extension, grounding McGrath Highway, and restoring the Amelia Earhart Dam, are funded in part by the federal government," Representative Connolly said. "Putting up sufficient state funds to unlock more federal dollars is critical to the continued transformation of Cambridge and Somerville as more sustainable, livable, and equitable communities."

The legislation passed today establishes the Commonwealth Federal Matching and Debt Reduction Fund to be administered by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance (A&F). The fund will consist of the interest earned on the Stabilization Fund in each fiscal year, any money appropriated to the fund, and interest earned on the fund. The Comptroller will transfer interest from the Stabilization Fund to the newly established Commonwealth Federal Matching and Debt Reduction fund each quarter, but as a safeguard, no transfer will occur if the balance has decreased over the preceding year, or if it no longer exceeds 10 percent of budgeted revenues.

A&F may expend the funds to pay down the Commonwealth’s debt or pension obligations, OPEB, capital leases, general or special obligation contract liabilities, or transfer any amount back to the Stabilization Fund. A&F may expend up to $750 million from the fund to provide matching funds for federal programs through December 1, 2026:

  • Up to $50 million may be used for matching funds for federal programs in the form of grants, loans, and other financial assistance to cities, towns, tribes, and regional organizations.
  • Up to $12 million may be used to provide grants to support municipal, tribal, and regional organizations in planning efforts.

Having passed the House of Representatives 152-0, An Act to provide for competitiveness and infrastructure investment in Massachusetts now returns to the Senate for further consideration. Rep. Connolly would like to thank Speaker Mariano, and Chairs Michlewitz and Lewis for bringing this bill forward today.