Baker-Polito Administration to Invest $186 Million in Federal COVID-19 Funding for Critical Health Care and Workforce Priorities – Mass.gov

BOSTON The Baker-Polito Administration today announced it will invest $186 million of the Commonwealths direct federal aid from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) toward critical priorities including support for hospitals, health and human services, mental health, and workforce development. Utilizing these federal resources now will help further the Commonwealths economic recovery and provide relief for residents hardest-hit by COVID-19, such as lower-wage workers and communities of color.

This $186 million is part of a total of approximately $5.3 billion in direct aid awarded to the Commonwealth through ARPA. The funding announced today is part of $200 million provided to the Administration in recently signed legislation for addressing critical needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Baker has filed legislation to put an additional $2.915 billion of this funding to immediate use to address additional urgent and pressing needs including housing and homeownership, economic development and local downtowns, job training and workforce development, health care, and infrastructure.

Our administration is putting this $186 million to work now because many communities throughout Massachusetts especially low-income families and communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and cannot wait for assistance. More than 400,000 residents are due to lose enhanced unemployment benefits in the first week of September, making the workforce training funding particularly urgent, said Governor Charlie Baker. We look forward to working quickly with our colleagues in the Legislature in allocating additional funding and providing residents and families with relief from the housing, economic, workforce, health care, and other challenges which continue to face the Commonwealth as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Investing this $186 million is an important step in helping those who have been hard-hit by the pandemic, and we must continue deploying federal resources to further the economic recovery,said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. These funds will help address crucial health care and workforce priorities, and we look forward to quickly getting them out the door and into our local communities.

Highlights of this $186 million investment plan include:

Health Care

Workforce

The discretionary funds awarded to the Commonwealth through ARPA are intended to support urgent COVID-19 response efforts, replace lost revenue, support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses, and address unequal public health and economic challenges in Massachusetts cities and towns throughout the pandemic. ARPA is also providing a total of $3.4 billion in direct aid for local governments throughout Massachusetts.

Massachusetts expects to benefit from a total of approximately $113 billion in COVID-related federal aid provided through the six pieces of federal legislation enacted during the pandemic. The majority of this funding is outside of the Commonwealths discretion. For example, over $50 billion is going directly to individuals and businesses in the form of stimulus payments, Paycheck Protection Program loans, Unemployment Assistance, and other initiatives. Over $3 billion has been awarded to the MBTA, RTAs, airports, and transportation. Approximately $2.9 billion has been awarded in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER Grants) for local schools, over $1.5 billion is being provided for higher education relief, and nearly $700 million has been awarded for child care.

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Baker-Polito Administration to Invest $186 Million in Federal COVID-19 Funding for Critical Health Care and Workforce Priorities - Mass.gov

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