June 29 Policy Update

MASSCreative continues to monitor and report on state and federal policy that supports equitable communities and a stronger, more inclusive creative sector. Here's the Policy Update from the last week:

FY20 Final Supplemental Budget

On June 22, the House passed the $1.1 billion FY20 supplemental budget, which is an additional budget that provides more money to some items in the final budget. Rep. Bud Williams added Amendment #81 to make Juneteenth an official state holiday. Currently, Massachusetts’ commemoration of Juneteenth occurs on the Sunday after June 17, but this new law would officially put the holiday on its actual date of June 19. The supplemental budget still needs to be enacted by the Senate on Wednesday before it can be approved by Gov. Charlie Baker. We will be advocating for Rep. Williams’ amendment to be included in the final Senate version of the budget.

Economic Development Bond Bill

On June 26, the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies held a hearing on HB 4529, An Act enabling partnerships for growth. The bill does not currently include any support for the creative sector. MASSCreative will be submitting testimony to encourage the committee to include provisions that protect and support the creative sector.  More information on how to submit testimony is available here. We are also working with the Mass Cultural Council to develop specific provisions and advocate for them to be included in the legislation

FY21 State Budget

On June 25, Gov. Baker signed a 1/12 budget to keep the state government running while state legislators develop a fiscal plan for 2021. The House’s draft was set to be released on July 1, but they have already announced that they will not meet that deadline. Gov. Baker has stated that the House is waiting on data on tax revenue, since the filing was delayed from April to July 15. 

With recent developments on the state budget, supplemental budget, and development bill, the state government is beginning to make pivotal economic decisions. The creative sector and education funding—especially for arts education—need protection. We are prepared to ramp up our advocacy, and will provide options for you to do the same.


As we await Gov. Baker’s announcement on Phase 3 of the reopening plan, we want to make sure our industry has clear guidance on how to proceed. We have been in communication with the administration about your questions on Phases 3 and 4, and will relay information to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, we suggest looking at the specialized guidance for other industries to get an idea of what to expect for our sector. We are still collecting questions with this form

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released its school reopening plan, which details requirements for smaller cohorts of students, increased sanitation, and planning for in-school, remote, and hybrid learning.

Main Street Lending Program

The Federal Reserve has officially extended the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) to non-profit organizations. The Federal Reserve Board has outlined two types of nonprofit loans: the Nonprofit Organization New Loan Facility (NONLF) and the Nonprofit Organization Expanded Loan Facility (NOELF). Term sheets and more information regarding eligibility and conditions can be found here. 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) funds have provided crucial relief to our sector and independent creative workers. The program offers benefits to individuals—freelancers, contractors, gig workers—who would not otherwise qualify for unemployment benefits. As it stands, benefits are set to end on Dec. 31, 2020. We are in support of the HEROS Act—proposed by Congresswoman Nita Lowey—which would extend federal funding to Jan. 31, 2021. 

Fourth Stimulus Bill

We are closely monitoring the progress of a fourth stimulus bill, and hope to see a relief package approved by Congress before the August recess. 

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