General Electric to pay back $87 million to state in incentives

Massachusetts

On Thursday, General Electric announced that they will not move forward with plans to build a 12-story office building on the Boston waterfront. The company said they will now only hire 250 new workers, instead of 800.

Massachusetts offered General Electric a generous relocation package to move their headquarters from Norwalk, Connecticut to Boston. And because General Electric failed to reach their economic objectives, the state could be getting that money back.

General Electric said they will pay $87 million in incentives, money that lawmakers feel should be going to the western part of the state.

“The money that was handed to General Electric by the state government to come to Boston now that General Electric is reneging on the deal, they’re giving the money back so instead of giving that money to a new corporation like an Amazon or a Walmart or whoever lets put that money back into the public education system,” Senator Lesser said.

Senator Lesser has proposed a bill to reinvest in vocational-technical education.

Senator Lesser blames budget cuts for western Massachusetts students being denied access to training in fields like Construction, Plumbing, and electrical work.

Pittsfield state Senator Adam Hinds is also working to bring General Electric’s incentive funds to western Massachusetts.

After General Electric left the Berkshires in the 1990s, Senator Hinds said they cover costs for cleaning up the Housatonic River.

Both western Massachusetts lawmakers are hoping the state will stop offering companies big incentives and instead re-direct that money to residents of the Commonwealth.

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