Back And Forth, Mass. Lawmakers Debate Use Of Covid Relief


WBZ Stock Massachusetts State House 16:9

Photo: Mario Jarjour/WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts has over $5 billion dollars in federal Covid Relief Aid and the debate continues on Beacon Hill as to how and when it should be used.

The state legislature wants to take the slow and steady path and create an appropriation process to see how to spend the billions of dollars over a span of several years.

However, Governor Charlie Baker has his own plan for the money. The governor wants to spend a lot of it now but said he wants to find a compromise.

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Baker sent back a spending bill that was passed by the house with an amendment. He proposed the full $5.3 billion be transferred to a trust fund.

Baker's proposal calls for more than half of the money be used immediately on things like housing initiatives, infrastructure projects and job training development.

There is not much confidence that this will happen after House Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka said they want to hear from communities and stakeholders on how it should be allocated.

WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) Reports:

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