FRAMINGHAM – On Friday night, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted to pass a $3.82 billion dollar spending package that would make critical investments with money received from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and state surplus revenue.
Included in that legislation was $250,000 for Framingham Public Schools, said Rep. Carmine Gentile, who represents Precinct 3 in the City of Framingham.
The money was secured by Rep. Gentile and Rep. Maria Robinson and will be used to construction of a health clinic at the Framingham public schools welcome center, said the two state representatives this weekend.
“This will be used to help create a dental care center in the welcoming center,” said Rep. Robinson, a Democrat who represents Framingham. “It is important for the students to provide both physical and mental health supports to students. There are some students who do not have the ability or time to get dental care without missing time in school.”
“The Welcome Center has already brought a new level of customer service to the Framingham Public Schools but the expansion plans through community collaboration and state funding will make our offerings second to none,” said Supt. Bob Tremblay this weekened.
“The development of a health suits as part of our Welcome Center will not only create synergies between the school department and the Framingham Department of Public Health, we are forging even stronger relationships with our community health partners to help registering students overcome the challenges that delay their start in school. With every innovation we are clearing more hurdles for families.”
“This legislation will help to support families in the Commonwealth as we recover from the pandemic. It prioritizes economic assistance to the neediest people and areas, while using these one-time funds to make an impact on underfunded sectors of the economy. I was particularly pleased to see that schools will receive $10 million in funding to provide compensatory services to students with substantial disabilities who turned 22 during the pandemic, when those individuals are not ready to transition to adult programs, which was something that I advocated for,” said Rep. Gentile.
The spending bill includes major investments including $600 million for housing, $765 million for health and human services, $777 million for economic development, $265 million for education, and more than $400 million for combatting climate change. The bill also includes $500 million in bonus payments to low-income essential workers who worked in-person throughout the COVID-19 state of emergency.
The Senate will work next week to pass an ARPA bill of their own and the two legislative bodies will form a Conference Committee to work out the differences between the bills before sending the final bill to the Governor.