Massachusetts House Adds $174m to ARPA Bill via Mega-Amendments
A major spending bill allocating federal COVID-19 relief funds and surplus state tax revenues cleared the House on Friday evening by a vote of 159-0 after lawmakers added nearly $174 million via the amendment process.
The bill began with a bottom line of $3.65 billion and representatives took a handful of votes to add on tens of millions of dollars more, much of it earmarked for local programs and projects, through four mega-amendments compiled outside of public view based on the 1,126 individual amendments filed earlier in the week. The bill’s final bottom line increased to $3.82 billion.
House and Senate leaders have already agreed on two key features of the bill — a $500 million deposit into the state’s unemployment trust fund and another $500 million for one-time bonus payments to low-income essential workers who remained on the job in-person throughout the COVID-19 state of emergency.