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Some Attleboro area earmarks tied up in sweeping federal pandemic aid bill – Boston University News Service – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-11-27 05:06:00 –

Stella Lawrence
Boston University State Capitol Program

Boston — Massachusetts State Congressman failed to reach a compromise on how to implement aid before the end of this year’s formal session, balancing nearly $ 4 billion in federal funding, including funding organizations in the Attleboro region. Is breaking down.

The three-member meeting committee of each chamber of commerce was unable to create an integrated version of the House and Senate bills before the recess during the session starting November 18.

Both versions of the bill provide similar broad support for economic stimulus, public health, infrastructure, and other key areas, but the two chambers differ in detail, including regional landmarks. increase.

“The funding for this bill will help our entire district, especially the most vulnerable, so it’s important not only to get this done, but to take the time to get it right,” said Senator Paul Feeney. D-Foxborough said in a statement.

NS Senate versionReached $ 3.82 billion, with more than 700 fixes, about half of which were adopted.

One of the hires was $ 300,000 for one Finney New Kibo, A non-profit organization that supports victims of domestic and sexual violence.

The funds will be used to consolidate the organization’s two shelters into one large location that can serve up to 14 clients at a time and is compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act.

Marcia Szymanski, CEO of New Hope, said of the date the first shelter was opened:

“We have become a de facto temporary housing,” she said, explaining that some people will stay in shelters for up to a year.

Szymanski said he is working closely with Senator Rebecca Rausch of D-Needham, who represents parts of the Feeney and Attleboro regions, and is grateful for their support. New Hope is “flooding” with people calling and seeking help during a pandemic, Simansky said, adding that it is becoming “more than we can handle.”

The new shelter setup includes a suite bathroom in each room. This is a significant improvement over the current shelter, Szymanski said.

“One of the things we repeatedly hear from our clients is the lack of privacy, which is the most difficult part of being in a shelter,” Szymanski said.

D-Attleboro Rep. James Hawkins House bill There were more than 1,000 amendments, including $ 125,000 for the construction of a homeless shelter in Attleboro.

The shelter has critical beds, dorm-style rooms, and on-site services for those in need of temporary housing, Hawkins said.

Local landmarks will be added to the more commonly secured proposed $ 150 million for supportive housing included in both bills. The Senate bill provides that at least $ 75 million of that will target the chronic homeless population.

Hawkins is optimistic that members will reach an agreement and pass the bill during an informal session, despite different rules allowing one member to withhold the bill.

“I’m pretty sure the landmarks will pass,” he said. “I think a lot of the big picture has been experienced.”

One of those big picture contained in both bills is $ 500 million for a bonus to low-income key workers who worked during the pandemic, and Finney is a “policy top priority.” Said that.

“The frontline workers in Massachusetts have put their lives to help the rest of us stay safe from the comfort of our home,” Finney said in a statement. “These workers are considered essential and should be compensated for their work as such.”

Eligible workers can receive up to $ 2,000 under the provisions outlined in the bill.

Despite the vast nature of spending, some landmarks missed the cut. That included $ 6.2 million to upgrade the ventilation and cooling system at Attleboro Public Schools. In the final version of the house, some towns remained selected for such funding, but the rest of the towns, including Attleboro, can only access the funds by applying for a state grant. ..

“These kids are breathing old air,” Hawkins said. “The only way to change the world is to change the youth.”

According to Hawkins, the pandemic has attracted public attention to school ventilation issues, but classrooms with open windows and schools with broken heating and cooling systems have long been a problem.

Governor Charlie Baker wanted an invoice for his Thanksgiving desk.He released schedule In June, legislators decided to take a more cautious legislative path to use federal aid, but to run out of funds.

Baker spokesman Terry McCormack accused lawmakers of holding a bill in a statement Thursday after the government failed to reach an agreement.

“Massachusetts was already behind most of the country in using these funds before the recent recession, and even later, it is now used by residents, small businesses, and other parts of the country. Only hundreds of organizations have been frozen from the support they are doing. We will recover from this brutal pandemic, “McCormack said.

Aaron Michlewitz, D-Boston, chair of the House’s methods and means, said negotiations between the House and the Senate would continue during a seven-week informal meeting.

This article was originally Atlboro Sun Chronicle.

Some Attleboro area earmarks tied up in sweeping federal pandemic aid bill – Boston University News Service Source link Some Attleboro area earmarks tied up in sweeping federal pandemic aid bill – Boston University News Service

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