The final $43.1 billion budget sent to Gov. Charlie Baker by the state's legislative conference committee includes a number of items that would benefit Cape Ann interests if they survive the governor's veto pen.
The legislation to modernize and expand the state lobster processing regulations, persistently championed by state Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, has collected much of the attention because of its impact on Bay State lobstermen and processors.
The fiscal year 2020 budget also includes $580,000 in amendments authored by Tarr and state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, D-Gloucester, to fund Cape Ann initiatives in public safety, water quality, economic development, marine genomics research, the Blue Economy, as well as community celebrations in Gloucester and Essex.
"Each of the programs, projects and ongoing initiatives identified for support in the state budget came about as a result of our strong partnerships with local officials and organizations," Tarr, a Gloucester Republican, said in a statement.
Baker has until Aug. 2 to review and act on the budget sent to his desk by the legislative conference committee comprised of Senate and House members. Any items vetoed by Baker are subject to legislative override, which would have to be initiated in the House and carry by a three-quarter majority in each chamber.
The budget also includes:
* $200,000 for a collaborative shellfish research program partnering the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, the state Division of Marine Fisheries and UMass Amherst through its marine station at Hodgkins Cove.
* $100,000 for The Open Door food pantry.
* $55,000 for the next phase of a plan to develop the region's Blue Economy, which is based on the proper and sustainable stewardship of ocean, or blue, resources.
* $50,000 to help the Gloucester Fire Department purchase 40 units of protective clothing and gear.
*$50,000 to help fund the research, design and distribution of a commemorative history of the city of Gloucester for its upcoming 400th anniversary.
* $40,000 to assist in the planning and design of the new public safety facility in Essex.
* $35,000 for the Essex Bicentennial Committee to help fund the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the town's incorporation.
* $25,000 to replace water filters at Rockport's water treatment plant.
* $25,000 to help GMGI plan and design regional broadband infrastructure.
The budget also includes a provision mandating the state's Buy Local program, which accounts for about $500,000 a year, include locally harvested seafood, both fish and shellfish. It also contains about $16.4 million in Chapter 70 and other forms of aid to local communities.
"The funding in this year's budget for Cape Ann is reflective of our area's people, our collective history and our economic future," Ferrante said in a statement.
Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT.