Governor Baker allocates $ 186 million for healthcare, hospitals and workforce

Colin A. Young State House Press Service

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker has decided to spend $ 186 million that the legislature has given him at its discretion on a list of priorities for health care and workforce development.

The governor on Monday said he will invest $ 50 million in financially distressed hospitals, $ 55 million to pay 10% rate increases for some health workers until the end of the year, will invest $ 31 million in acute psychiatric care facilities and use up to $ 50 million to train workers in advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology and construction.

“Our administration is putting that $ 186 million to work now because many communities in Massachusetts – especially low-income families and communities of color – have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and cannot wait to l ‘help,’ Baker said.

“More than 400,000 residents are expected to lose improved unemployment benefits in the first week of September, making funding for workforce training particularly urgent,” he said. “We look forward to working quickly with our colleagues in the Legislative Assembly to allocate additional funds and provide residents and families with relief from housing, economic, labor, health care and other issues,” that the Commonwealth continues to face as we recover from the crisis. Covid19 pandemic. “

Massachusetts received $ 5.5 billion in US federal bailout legislation. The legislature has transferred most of the money to separate accounts it controls, but has designated $ 200 million for Baker to allocate.

Baker’s decision to allocate more than a quarter of what he was supposed to allocate to workforce development was applauded Monday by the social services industry.

“After many months of discussions with the Baker administration regarding the workforce crisis in our sector, we were grateful to see the Governor investing $ 55 million in the social services sector to help organizations recruit and retain high-quality workers to fill some of the industry’s 180,000 jobs, ”said officials from the Providers’ Council, the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers, the Association for Behavioral Healthcare and the Children’s League. of Massachusetts in a joint press release.

“We are delighted that these funds strengthen our sector’s ability to provide essential services to one in ten Massachusetts residents who rely on this sector for vital support. “

On Tuesday, the legislature will begin a series of hearings that will inform its spending decisions under the American Rescue Plan Act.

Baker plans to testify – remotely from Colorado – to his bill, which would spend an estimated $ 2.9 billion in ARPA funding quickly on housing and homeownership, skills training, and supply infrastructure. water and sewerage, drug addiction treatment and other fields.

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