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Mass. Governor's Proposed $5B Bill Dedicates $185M to IT

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker filed a $5 billion bill that would commit $185 million to state IT for cybersecurity and system upgrades. The bill would also address areas like public safety infrastructure.

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(TNS) — Gov. Charlie Baker filed legislation seeking almost $5 billion for investments in long-term priorities, including public safety equipment upgrades, local infrastructure grants and IT modernization.

"This bill supports essential capital investments that will deliver long-lasting benefits to Massachusetts residents for years to come, with a focus on safety, resiliency and opportunity," Baker said.

The bulk of the bill, $2.4 billion, is allocated to existing maintenance projects through the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, which maintains nearly 1,700 buildings across the state, including higher education buildings, trial courts and public safety facilities. The bill also earmarks $400 million in energy efficiency initiatives at several facilities statewide.

The bill also allocates $1.8 million to mitigate future risks of these buildings, including "an increased focus on incorporating lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic related to the physical space and layout of facilities," a statement from the Baker administration says.

Another priority earmarked in the bill, which still has to pass through the Legislature, is $185 million for the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security for cybersecurity and IT upgrades, including projects to modernize the unemployment insurance online system. The bill also proposes funds to modernize fire services and corrections equipment and replace State Police vehicles.

The bill also allocates $496 million to established workforce development, housing and other community initiatives, including investments in clean drinking water and food security.

"As with all newly filed bills, we will be reviewing what the governor proposed and look forward to public feedback on the measure through our hearing process," Senate President Karen Spilka's spokesperson said of the bill.

©2022 Boston Herald, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.