Strengthening our Economy


Fast Facts:

  • Member of the Joint Committees on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, Community Development and Small Business, and Labor and Workforce Development
  • Working hands-on to protect and rebuild or local and state economies in the time of COVID-19
  • Securing millions in state funding and bonds to support local infrastructure projects, main street development, job retention, and growth.
  • Endorsed by IBEW Local 103, Plumbers Local 12, IUOE Local 4, Ironworkers Local 7, MA Teachers Association, MA Nurses Association, MA Organization of State Engineers and Scientists, and many more labor unions. See our list of endorsements here.

Proud to be endorsed by


Massachusetts Organization of State Engineers and Scientists

Laborers International Union

Investing in local growth

Senator O’Connor believes in investing in our economy so that we will continue to see strong returns on those investments. This has included helping small businesses and organizations grow, securing grants and earmarks for local economic projects, and prioritizing long-term, sustainable economic growth.

To list a few, Senator O’Connor has secured the following economic development bonds:

  • $3 Million for Scituate for the repair, replacement, and construction of water infrastructure,
  • $3 million for water infrastructure development at Union Point, 
  • $1 million for economic development at Weymouth landing, 
  • $1 Million for Hull to invest in streetscape and parking improvements and business development in the Hull Nantasket Beach Front Business District,
  • $2 Million for Marshfield for the construction of a Business Climate Innovation Center to assist businesses on climate adaptation, resilience and reducing emissions, and
  • $2 Million for Norwell that will go towards the design, planning, construction, and renovation of Norwell Town Center

Holding the Line on Excessive spending and taxation

  • Proposed multiple bills that would establish tax credits for middle class families, small businesses, people taking care of elderly relatives or individuals with disabilities, fishermen, employers of veterans, college tuition loan-payers, disabled veterans’ property, teachers’ classroom supplies, hearing aids, and more. 
  • Consistently votes against legislation that proposes unsustainable taxes. Most recently, Senator O’Connor voted against the tax provision in the Transportation Bond Bill.
  • Actively supporting legislation that would prevent taxpayers from being billed for the costs of expanding pipelines, also known as the pipeline tax.
  • Senator O’Connor was one of the only Legislators to not only vote against the legislative pay raise, but to also file the necessary paperwork to return his stipend back to the Commonwealth’s general fund.

Supporting local unions and the middle class

  • Senator O’Connor has always believed in the value of labor. As the son of a union nurse and union plumber, he was taught at a very young age the importance of being able to collectively bargain, earn a living wage, and have access to health and retirement benefits. 
  • For his entire career, Patrick has supported and demanded project labor agreements, fought for workers’ rights to collectively bargain, stood with unions against efforts of privatization, and voted in favor of legislation that directly benefits the hardworking men and women of organized labor in Massachusetts.

Securing Grant Funding for Local Growth

  • $3 Million in grant funding to support the agriculture, commercial fishing, and cranberry growing industries of the Commonwealth.
  • $1 Million for the construction of a Community Rowing Center and a Marine Science Center near the public waterfront.  
  • $1 million from the Seaport Economic Council (SEC) for Marshfield to construct a new 7,058-square-foot building to support local commercial fishermen and the working waterfront. The building will also focus on increasing tourism, recreational boating, and fishing, and will link other waterfront infrastructure investments in the town, including Harbor Park and the Esplanade of the Brant Rock business district.
  • $2 Million for Hingham through the Massachusetts Dredging Program to remove an estimated 62,000 cubic yards of sediment from the Hingham Inner Harbor and allow for all-tide use of the boat ramp and restore all- tide access to over 230 public moorings.
  • $250,000 for the South Shore Music Circus through the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Supporting Businesses through COVID-19

  • Helped dozens of local small businesses retain their employees and keep the lights on during the economic shutdown. 
  • When the state of emergency began, our office was all-hands-on-deck to help individuals and businesses apply for loans, grants, and navigate the new economy through COVID-19. We were able to help hundreds of individuals overcome systematic issues and survive the shutdown.
  • Senator O’Connor hosted economic briefings in partnership with each Town’s Chamber of Commerce to provide updates and offer guidance to local businesses trying to navigate new laws and reopening structures.

Promoting Sustainable Housing Growth

  • Secured $323,000 in grant funding for Weymouth and Hingham through the Housing Choice Community Capital Grant Program for infrastructure improvements in communities that have shown commitment to advancing sustainable housing production.
  • Served on the South Shore Chamber of Commerce’s Housing Working Group which studied and reported six strategies to preserve and enhance our high quality of life by building a stronger regional economy and housing market. Read the final report here.

Congratulations to Village Automotive Group for the installation and unveiling of their new solar arrays at their Audi Norwell and Porsche Norwell locations.

The Massachusetts economy has been steadily growing into one of the strongest in the country. Since 2014, we have been able to turn a $1 Billion state budget deficit into a $1 Billion surplus without raising taxes. Our unemployment rate is at 3.6%, well below the national average. We have one of the most educated workforces in the country, with the best environment for innovative business growth and gig-economy startups. Despite our strengths, there will always be room for improvement in areas of need.

Since I was sworn into office in 2016, there have been two Economic Development Bond Bills passed to invest in long-term projects that will strengthen our local and state economy. In the first round, my office secured funding to improve the Hingham 3A Rotary, increase tourist accessibility in Brant Rock, and an MBTA Commuter Rail performance assessment to propose solutions to existing problems.

In the second round, I was proud to secure bonds in the amount of $3 million to repair Scituate’s water infrastructure, $3 million for new water mains to Union Point, $2 million for the renovation of Norwell Town Center, $2 million for a Business Climate Innovation Center in Marshfield, $1 million for economic growth in the Weymouth Landing, and $1 million for the Nantasket Beach Front Business District.

Our housing market has been under strain, which is why the legislature recently passed the largest Housing Bond Bill ever, with $1.8 Billion of investments in low income and workforce housing, housing creation, and brownfields development. I was able to amend the bill to create a Commission to determine the level of need for adult disabled housing in the state, and to form recommendations for a plan to meet that level of need.

As the Senator of a coastal district, I have supported projects and legislation to invest in and promote the marine economy. Marine trades are in great need of an increased workforce, so we worked to include $100,000 in the FY19 State Budget to increase workforce training opportunities and technical education for careers in the marine trades.

Our office is continuously working alongside local State Representatives to fund and complete road construction projects to provide smoother and faster transit throughout the South Shore. My staff is constantly in touch with MassDOT officials as well, to make quick repairs and improvements to our roadways where needed.

By strengthening transport and economic ties to the city, we may diversify our economy, bringing a greater range of manufacturers and start-up companies into the region so that we may become more self-sufficient. Outsourcing of jobs is only weakening our economy. That is why I believe in union labor, because it keeps employment local, provides desired work conditions, and produces high quality results.

As a fiscal conservative I am a firm believer in keeping taxes low to stimulate and grow our economy. I filed a total of seventeen tax abatements to the state budget for those who deserve the monetary credit. Child care, college tuition, hospice care, and other expenses are financial burdens that many cannot avoid. By alleviating expenses like these, we are giving people greater financial freedom to become more productive to benefit themselves and the Commonwealth. By that same reasoning, business investors and small business should be given the financial incentive to empower local economies and their communities.