The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, part of the American Rescue Plan Act signed into law by President Joe Biden in March, provides $350 billion in direct federal aid for states, municipalities, counties, tribes and territories.

Separate from allocations to Massachusetts cities and towns, the Commonwealth has received $5.3 billion of these funds.

Gov. Charlie Baker filed legislation in July proposing his plan to spend $2.9 billion, a bit more than half of the state’s $5.3 billion.

Included in the proposal were several areas of interest to municipalities, including a $400 million investment in water and sewer infrastructure, and $300 million in climate change mitigation grants through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program.

In recent testimony, the MMA voiced strong support for the proposed $700 million infrastructure investment and stressed the urgency to act, so projects can get underway and local governments can factor in these investments when considering how best to use their own ARPA funds. (MMA Executive Director Geoff Beckwith addressed this topic as well in his September report.)

House Speaker Ronald Mariano indicated that the Legislature may act on the proposed spending plan this fall. The Legislature has held several hearings by topic area so far, with two additional hearings planned.

The four eligible expense categories for Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds are the same for state and local governments:
• Response to the public health emergency or its negative economic consequences
• Provision of premium pay for eligible workers
• Revenue replacement
• Investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure

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