Massachusetts Senate debates job growth bill

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Senate’s economic development plan is projected to cost $63 million. The hope is that by providing informational technology and manufacturing training, more businesses will want to set up shop in Massachusetts.

“They say that they have jobs to fill, especially in manufacturing and precision manufacturing, but they don’t necessarily have a pool of employees to pick from that have the training necessary to hire from,” said State Senator James Welch (D-West Springfield).

The Senate’s plan lifts the cap on liquor licenses, shifting authority from the state-level and giving cities and towns full control. The House did not include liquor licenses in their version of the bill.

“I think the law is working properly right now, there’s enough checks and balances in place, and I think that’s critically important moving forward. I don’t think we want to open the flood gates,” said State Representative Angelo Puppolo (D-Springfield), who is on the Committee on Consumer Protection.

Secretary Greg Bialecki of the Executive Office of Economic Development disagrees.

“We can absolutely trust our local communities to make good decisions; it’s not going to lead to a flood of liquor licenses. It’s just going to mean that local decision makers can make timely, good decisions,” said Bialecki.

Out of the total $63 million, $55 million would come from the state’s general funds while the remaining $8 million would come from tax credits.

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