Dear Neighbors and Friends,
I hope that you are doing well and enjoying the Fall weather. I wanted to update you on our office's work securing funding from the Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for different important initiatives across the Commonwealth and in the 8th Suffolk District. As always, please reach out to my staff or I with any questions.
Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Bill
Last week, the House debated the $3.65 billion ARPA bill, spending federal relief funds and surplus fiscal 2021 tax dollars. Under the bill, about $2.5 billion of the spending comes from ARPA, the federal package meant to boost the nation's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The House voted on four consolidated amendments that will provide significant relief in the many sectors and communities that were hit hardest by the pandemic. The mains topics and some of their highlights in the final bill are as follows:
- Housing and Food Security
- Health and Human Services and Education
- The Environment/Climate and Infrastructure
- Economic Development and Workforce
For a full breakdown the House ARPA bill please click here.
This was a once in a lifetime influx of funding into the state in order to stabilize our economy and continue our recovery from the pandemic. I am grateful I was able to secure almost $900k in local earmarks in the House's version of the bill to help support important covid-19 relief initiatives as well as cultural staples in the 8th Suffolk District.
The bill passed their version of the bill and now it will go to the Senate. After the Senate debates their own version of the bill it will likely have to be conferenced to reconcile differences between the two chambers. I hope to see the bill finalized and sent to the Governor’s desk by the end of this month at the latest.
The earmarks I secured include:
- $300K for The Museum of Science to hire and retain science, technology, engineering, and mathematics educators to help residents across STEM education at the Museum and virtually through MOS at school
$50K for Fenways Cares Mutual Aid Initiative to distribute fresh food and Personal Protective Equipment to food insecure Fenway residents.
$50K for Women’s Lunch Place for the purpose of providing meals and services to homeless women and children in need
$75K for Friends of the Public Garden for the purpose of hosting the unveiling of the restored Shaw Memorial in the Boston Common in Boston, an event delayed as a result of COVID-19
$300K for Boch Center for capital improvements needed to safely reopen Wang and Shubert Theatres
$100K for Boston Architectural College for the purpose of hosting the Doshi Exhibit
Last month’s dispatch informed you of the new redistricting map that the House had proposed. If you missed that email, please reach out to my office, and we would be happy to provide you with an update. The new plan that’s been finalized by the House and Senate is now sitting on Governor Baker’s desk for review. It will likely be signed into law by the end of the week, increasing the number of districts where the majority of residents are non-white from 3 to 6 in the Senate and from 20 to 33 in the House. I understand from House legal counsel that the new districts officially take effect in January 2023. The elections in the fall of 2022 will use the new maps, so you will see the new representatives reaching out to the people they hope to serve in January 2023 who will decide their fate in the fall of 2022.
Tuesday was an exciting night for Boston politics as Michelle Wu was elected Mayor of Boston, and Ruthzee Louijeune secured her spot in the City Council At Large election. I am excited to begin working with the new administration and Ruthzee Louijeune and continue working with the other electeds, Michael Flaherty and Julia Mejia, on the City Council.
Cambridge elections resulted in Burhan Azeem from Cambridgeport and Paul Toner from North Cambridge winning for the first time. I look forward to seeing how they do with the returning council members I have worked closely with, like Marc McGovern and Denise Simmons.