House of Representatives Releases $3.65B ARPA Legislation

Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means announced a $3.65 billion piece of legislation to invest American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and surplus funds in key sectors of the Commonwealth.

I was glad to join Speaker Ron Mariano, Chair Aaron Michlewitz, Chair Dan Hunt, and Chair Bud Williams today to outline the investments the House is making to help recovery from the pandemic and take Massachusetts forward.

This legislation is the result of a deliberative and transparent process that took place over the past several months, during which I and my fellow chairs held several public hearings to ensure that the investments the House makes match the needs of the Commonwealth. I want to commend Speaker Mariano and Chair Michlewitz for their commitment to this process and my ability to fully participate in it.

The $3.65 billion House Ways and Means Bill utilizes  funding from the American Rescue Plan Act and the FY21 fiscal year surplus to make significant one-time investments across the state to address disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Environment & Climate Change Mitigation$350M
Economic Development$777
Health and Human Services$765M


  • This bill appropriates $600M for homeownership aid and housing production and maintenance, with a focus on developing both affordable housing and supportive housing stock as a much-needed response to ongoing housing instability and homelessness.
    • $150M for Supportive Housing Production
    • $150M for Public Housing Maintenance
    • $100M for Homeownership Assistance
    • $100M for CommonWealth Builder Program
    • $100M for Affordable Housing Production

Environment and Climate Change Mitigation:

  • This bill appropriates $350M for environmental infrastructure and development spending, with a focus on environmental justice communities, climate change resilience, and clean energy, including:
    • $100M for Marine Port Development and Offshore Wind
    • $100M for Environmental Infrastructure for communities to become more climate resilient 
    • $100M for Water and Sewer infrastructure improvements
    • $25M for Greening the Gateway Cities 
    • $25M for State Parks and recreational facilities upgrades

Economic Development:

  • The bill aims to assist the recovering cultural sectors of the economy by allocating $125M for grants to be administered by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, with a special focus of those grants being on cultural events and programs that are related to minority populations.
  • To address the needs of small businesses who are experiencing financial challenges because of the pandemic, this bill allocates $500M in unemployment insurance funding, $25M for small businesses, and $25M for minority-owned businesses.
  • Due to the size of this bill, and in the interests of transparency and accountability, this bill includes $5M for the Inspector General’s office to create a public database to ensure that funding is spent in communities that have been disproportionately impacted. communities, and track the number of contracts awarded to minority-owned entities 
  • $40M for YouthWorks to support summer and school-year jobs for young people from economically disadvantaged communities. 
  • This bill also includes:
    • $50M to closing the digital divide in low-income areas.
    • $12M to assist in the resettlement of Afghan refugees in the Commonwealth.
    • $200M worth of tax relief for small businesses that paid personal income taxes on State or Federal relief awards over the last year and a half.  


  • Countless frontline workers put their lives at risk to ensure the people of the Commonwealth could access essential goods and services during the height of the virus. This bill includes $500M for premium pay bonuses for essential workers. 
    • The program would be for low-income workers who worked in person throughout the Governor’s State of Emergency.
  • This bill also includes:
    • $150M for the Workforce Competitive Trust Fund to support individuals who need training and/or additional education to re-engage with the workforce. 
    • $100M for Career Technical Institutes and Vocational Schools. 

Health and Human Services:

  • Thanks to our provider system, patients suffering from COVID-19 received the best care possible. To help mitigate the financial strain hospitals experienced as a result of the pandemic, this bill allocates $250M for financially strained providers and $70M specifically for nursing facilities. 
  • $250M in funding is included for behavioral health programs, with a $100M carved out for workforce initiatives ranging student loan assistance, tuition reimbursements to workshop training programs.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic re-affirmed our need for a strong public health system, which is why this bill invests $150M over three years to better address health disparities and improve data systems. 
  • $20M for improve technical infrastructure for community health centers.
  • This bill also includes:
    • $15M towards prison re-entry grants, focusing on supports for individuals who were released during the pandemic.
    • $10M for community-based gun violence prevention programs in high-risk areas.


  • To address the disparities in public school facilities, this bill includes $100M for grants for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning to be distributed by the department of elementary and secondary education in consultation with the Racial Imbalance Advisory Counsel. 
  • This bill also includes:
    • $75M for capital and maintenance projects for higher education 
    • $25M for the Endowment Incentive Program 
    • $20M for Special Education needs including $10M for workforce
    • $10M to fund opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and other educators of color to achieve licensure 

Food Insecurity

  • This bill also includes $78M in funding to address food insecurity across the Commonwealth.

I look forward to deliberations on this legislation in the House this week to ensure that the final bill addresses the needs of Cape Ann’s residents and communities.