Senate Passes Internet Technology Bond Bill

The Senate on Thursday passed legislation authorizing up to $999.2 million in spending for the improvement of information technology equipment and related projects in Massachusetts. The bill also includes important reforms to the state’s information technology systems and management, including increased oversight of all information technology projects and recommending best practices.

Senate Passes Drinking Water and Wastewater Reform

The Senate on Thursday passed legislation 37-0 that combines reform with increased commitments to improve existing partnerships with cities and towns, grow municipal options while incentivizing best management practices and responsibly address water and wastewater infrastructure challenges in the Commonwealth.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that the Commonwealth’s future will not be limited by our access to clean drinking water,” Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said. “This bill takes the first step in addressing our water and wastewater infrastructure challenges and I am proud of the Senate for taking action on this important issue. The state of our water infrastructure is strongly linked to the health of our economy and a commitment to improving our water infrastructure is a commitment to improving our economic strengths.”

Senate Passes FY 2014 Supplemental Budget

The Senate on Thursday voted 37-0 to pass a $200.8 million supplemental budget to cover time sensitive deficiencies and unexpected cost increases in FY 2014. This supplemental budget includes funds to address critical needs in the state’s emergency shelter programs, as well as provide additional funds for snow and ice removal.

“This supplemental budget is an important bill-paying exercise which addresses several spending deficiencies and time sensitive policy issues,” said Senator Stephen M. Brewer (D-Barre), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “I am very pleased that the Senate has passed a bill that makes necessary, mid-year investments while maintaining our disciplined fiscal approach that has served us so well in recent years.”

Senate Passes Unemployment Insurance Reform Bill

The Senate on Thursday voted 33-4 to pass legislation that will lower costs for businesses and support the growing economy in the Commonwealth. The bill introduces an updated rating table, puts in place a multi-year rate freeze and expands the seasonal employer exemption.

“This bill will provide financial predictability, reward positive employment histories with lower costs and foster a healthy economy that supports the business community,” Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said. “These reforms strike a careful balance between providing businesses with a helping hand without taking that same hand away from the unemployed.