On March 11, 2021, the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law by President Biden. Included in this $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package was $4.89 billion for Massachusetts COVID-19 recovery efforts. To responsibly and transparently spend these federal funds, the Massachusetts legislature spent several months holding public hearings, engaging with advocates and constituents across the state, and evaluating hundreds of legislative spending proposals. On December 3, 2021, the Massachusetts legislature enacted H.4269, An Act relative to immediate COVID-19 recovery needs, which allocates nearly $4 billion in spending by using the remaining fiscal year 2021 surplus and up to $2.55 billion in federal ARPA funds.
H.4269 makes several transformative statewide investments, including:
- $1.58 billion in economic and workforce development initiatives;
- $1.15 billion in health and human services;
- $617.6 million in housing security programs;
- $370 million in energy and environmental initiatives;
- $271 million in education funding;
- $9.5 million in judiciary aid; and
- $2 million for funding oversight to ensure these funds are used equitably, expediently, and efficiently.
In total, the bill will invest $3,998,744,000 into the Commonwealth.
The ARPA bill has been signed into law by Governor Baker, who vetoed a few items and returned amendments that the Legislature can take up. The Legislature will continue to engage with stakeholders, advocates, and members of the public about how best to allocate the remaining $2.34 billion of Massachusetts’s ARPA funds.