Estimates vary, but state in for jolt of federal infrastructure aid


BOSTON (SHNS) – Gov. Charlie Baker said he expects between $7 billion and $8 billion to flow into Massachusetts from the federal infrastructure bill signed Monday by President Joe Biden, and pledged to be “pretty aggressive” about competing for other buckets of money that will be dispersed through grants.

Baker celebrated the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Tuesday after touring a biomanufacturing center in Watertown where he highlighted state investments in apprenticeship programs in the life sciences. The governor’s estimate of formula funding that will available to the state from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package is less than the $9 billion estimate that came from U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan’s office.

“Figuring out exactly how much is actually going to be available to the commonwealth through the infrastructure bill will take us a little while to sort out, because about 40 percent of it is competitive,” Baker said. The governor said the formula-driven money, some of which will require state matching funds, will finance investments in things like broadband, water, roads, rail, bridges and transit. “The large message coming for us on this one is that this is a necessary piece of federal legislation,” Baker said. “States will be able to do a lot of good things with this, many of which are overdue and we expect and anticipate that we’ll be able to make some very important and critical infrastructure investment around the Commonwealth over the next five or six years because of it, and we’re very excited about it.”

Baker said the administration must still make decisions about where best to deploy the resources and understand whether it can be applied to existing projects, or must be spent on new projects, but he said he hopes that some of the money will start to be spent as soon as the spring construction season.

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