MARLBOROUGH – State Representatives Danielle Gregoire & Carmine L. Gentile on Friday night 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.
“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.
Included in the House bill was $190,000 for the city of Marlborough for the procurement of OpenGov online permitting software and $200,000 for an upgrade to the infrastructure necessary for broadband access in the city of Marlborough.
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.