BOSTON – The Massachusetts State Senate passed a comprehensive economic development bill with two key provisions added by State Senator Brian A. Joyce to create jobs in the commonwealth and provide corporations with the opportunity to become better environmental actors should they choose.
“This bill will create over 10,000 new jobs and help improve our environment,” said Joyce, Chair of the Senate Bonding Committee. “One Senate initiative will enable financing of energy efficiency projects throughout the state, saving energy and property owners’ money, and helping to put thousands of building tradespersons to work. Additionally, my B-Corporations initiative will allow socially conscious investors to invest in Massachusetts corporations that prioritize environmental impact along with shareholder profits.”
The Energy Conservation Project Fund, crafted by Joyce, will enable MassDevelopment to issue up to $1 billion in triple-A rated bonds that will provide low-cost funding for commercial, industrial and retail, and mixed use property owners to make energy efficient retro-fits to their properties. Experts estimate that over 10,000 jobs could be created by this measure, which would provide jobs for the hard-hit building trades, who in turn would support local building suppliers and their employees. The measure would also allow employers to redirect the funds saved on energy expenditures toward creating more jobs.
Joyce’s second measure would allow the formation of Benefit Corporations, or B-Corporations, in Massachusetts. This provision would allow these corporations to voluntarily hold themselves to high responsibilities in terms of renewable energy and environmentally-friendly business practices. By balancing their fiduciary obligations with public benefit, Massachusetts businesses will be more competitive and attractive in the global marketplace and, over time, free up energy savings capital for more investment, growth and new jobs.
Overall, the Jobs Bill provides a wealth of economic development measures aimed at nurturing further growth in Massachusetts’ economy by promoting community and workforce development and using tax dollars wisely by offering targeted tax relief to spur growth and create jobs. The bill will now be reconciled with a measure previously passed by the House of Representatives.