What the MA Expense Bill Means for Malden

MALDEN, MA – Nearly $7 million will soon flow into Malden and Malden-related projects as direct appropriations in an economic development spending bill that state lawmakers have sent to the governor Charlie Baker earlier this month.

Baker signed the majority of the legislation on Thursday, approving the money for Malden as part of a roughly $3.76 billion package combining unspent federal funds for the pandemic stimulus and surplus funds from the ‘State.

The deal lawmakers reached included more funding for projects ranging from upgrades to MBTA security and services to energy aid and affordable housing.

He also noted a long list of more specific assignments for municipalities and individual organizations.

Malden’s assignments are as follows:

  • $200,000 for the maintenance of bike paths
  • $250,000 for the renovation of public parks
  • $300,000 for Summer Street improvements, including but not limited to venue creation, streetscapes, and art design
  • $200,000 planning and economic development studies
  • $6 million to Melrose Wakefield Healthcare Inc. for the redevelopment of the former Malden Hospital property.

This economic development bill emerged Nov. 3 after months of being stuck in talks among lawmakers.

The bill had drawn mixed reactions from Baker and other state leaders, who expressed disappointment that the tax cuts and stimulus checks being considered for some taxpayers had not been incorporated into final legislation.

State officials nonetheless touted the ongoing distribution of separate tax refund checks triggered by a law limiting annual income tax revenue at the state level.

Reimbursements total nearly $3 billion. They are sent automatically to eligible Massachusetts residents.

Malden state lawmakers noted that the money was to come into Malden through the then-pending Economic Development Bill earlier this month.

Representatives Kate Lipper-Garabedian, Steven Ultrino and Paul Donato, alongside State Senator Jason Lewis, also noted MBTA funding in addition to Malden-specific assignments.

Baker reiterated his disappointment at the scrapping of tax relief plans in a statement after signing the bill last week.

“I am pleased that the strong financial position of the Commonwealth allows us to make these critical investments on behalf of our communities,” he continued.