The Massachusetts House of Representatives has approved $78 million for a state data center in Springfield, Mass. after a bitter debate over the location of the facility. The House voted 150-0 Thursday night to approve a $3 billion bond bill that earmarks money for the data center. Legislators have been feuding for months over the location of the data center, arguing over competing locations in Springfield. The state Senate must also approve the spending.
The House debate involved some political infighting. Here's a summary from MassLive.com:
During debate on the legislation, members voted 113-36 to defeat an effort by two Springfield Democrats to strip language from the bill inserted by Rep. Thomas M. Petrolati, D-Ludlow, that orders the state to build the data center at a disputed site at Springfield Technical Community College. Members voted to uphold Petrolati's selection of the technology park, but provide oversight from the state Inspector General. In a rare challenge to Petrolati, one of the most powerful House members, Reps. Sean F. Curran and Angelo J. Puppolo Jr. fought for an amendment that sought to allow Gov. Deval L. Patrick to choose a site in Springfield.
The Springfield Technical Community College's technology park was rejected as a site for the data center in a 2006 report by the administration of former Gov. W. Mitt Romney because of security and space problems. The Romney administration wanted to build the data center at a former high school in Springfield. The new facility would provide backup for a main technology center in Chelsea and would create about 50 jobs.