MACDC is working hard this week and next to secure key policy and funding priorities for the community development field. The Senate Ways & Means Committee released its FY 2018 budget on May 16 and it contains critical funding for many housing and economic development progarms. We thank Chairperson Karen Spilka for producing a strong budget that includes many of our priorities. That said, we think there is always room for improvement and we are leading an effort to win passage of three key amendments:
- Amendment #28 filed by Senator Lesser would extend and expand the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) as an outside section of the Senate Budget.
This amendment would push the sunset clause back from 2019 to 2025 and slowly increase the statewide cap on credits from $6 million today to $8 million in 2019, $10 million in 2021 and to $12 million in 2023. This legislation is necessary to fully-scale the impact of a program that has already generated nearly $23 million in private philanthropic investment over the past three years, with a total of nearly 4,500 separate donations to 53 high performing CDCs.
- Amendment #572 filed by Senator Cyr to fund Budget Line Item 7002-0040, the Small Business Technical Assistance Program, at $2,500,000.
The Small Business Technical Assistance program helps entrepreneurs starting or growing their own business who may lack the business education, networks and capital needed to succeed over the long term. This program would increase funding from the $1,250,000 level included in the Ways & Means Committee budget. Historically, the program has been funded at $2 million per year.
- Amendment #643 filed by Senator Eldridge to Budget Line Item 7006-0011, Homeownership and Foreclosure Prevention Counseling.
This amendment will ensure that the MA Division of Banks provides at least $1.3 million in grants annually to nonprofit organizations that provide homebuyer education and foreclosure prevention counseling.
MACDC is working with its members and allies to educate senators about these amendments and secure their support. The full Senate is expected to consider these and other budget amendments starting on May 23.