Wednesday, June 2, 2021

"Baker and legislative leaders have yet to outline specific proposals for using the money, or when"

"However Massachusetts spends the nearly $5.3 billion in federal American Rescue Plan funds it has, one thing is clear: State lawmakers want a say.

The Legislature is expected to pass legislation by next week that would move nearly $5.29 billion in federal stimulus cash into a newly created account, where lawmakers would have power in choosing how it’s spent, potentially for years to come.

The bill itself is largely mechanical in nature; the version the Massachusetts House passed Tuesday would make the funds in a federal coronavirus relief trust fund “subject to appropriation.” But its thrust would mark a reversal from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, when Governor Charlie Baker’s administration had wide leeway in quickly divvying up the $2.7 billion the state had received directly in coronavirus relief funds. "

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