The Legislature today has enacted our $3.9B ARPA Relief spending bill compromise. The legislation leverages federal relief and state surplus funds to make significant, targeted investments in housing, climate mitigation, economic development, workforce development & human services.
As chair of the Labor Committee, I am particularly proud that the legislation includes record investments in workforce development programs and I am grateful to Speaker Mariano, Chair Michlewitz and Chairman Hunt for making this a priority.
This includes $500 million towards frontline premium pay bonuses for low- and middle-income workers and an additional $500 million to replenish the Unemployment Trust Fund which will offset businesses’ contributions for unemployment programs. We also include a requirement that DUA establish a public information campaign to notify workers of their waiver rights in the event of an over-payment claim. Thank you to Rep Joan Meschino for her efforts championing this.
The bill also includes funding for local needs. Working with my colleagues in the senate, Sen. O'Connor, Sen. Brady and Sen, Moran, we were able to add a number of local amendments to direct additional relief dollars back to our district to reduce the burden on local taxpayers and help fund local needs. This includes funds to design and plan a new public safety building in Pembroke, address water quality issues in Duxbury, make disability access improvement at the Bay Farm conservation area and support a Hanson non-profit helping people with substance abuse treatment. Please see full list below.