Burlington’s representatives in the State Legislature have outlined federal funds recently directed to town through legislation in both the House and Senate that was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on Monday.
According to a joint release from their offices, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) and Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) recently joined their colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature to advance a $4 billion bill to the governor’s desk that directs federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) surplus funding to assist the Commonwealth’s ongoing economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Burlington directly benefits from this bill with $600,000 going towards the community.
According to the release, the legislation’s focus was on making equitable investments and prioritizing communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The legislation delivers targeted support to workers and businesses, and the sectors of housing, health care, mental and behavioral health, climate preparedness, education, and workforce development.
“This bill will bring much needed economic relief to residents and communities across Massachusetts,” said Senator Friedman, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “The $4 billion in investments made at the state and local levels for initiatives like housing and food security, health care services, and aid for businesses and workers, will have an enormously beneficial impact on the many, many people that the pandemic has affected. I am especially proud of the $400 million in funding for our behavioral health system and the $2.7 million in direct aid to Burlington – both of which I fought hard to secure.”
“This is great news for Burlington,” commented Representative Ken Gordon. “This spending plan will give our community the resources that it needs to recover from the impacts of this pandemic and be resilient in the face of the challenges to come. I am especially proud of the investments that support our essential workers who work tirelessly, and at their own risk, to keep us healthy and safe. I’m grateful for Senator Friedman’s continued partnership as we work together for Burlington.”
Funds directed at Burlington will be used for multiple programs and initiatives, including:
- $150,000 for the Burlington public school system to develop a pilot program, in partnership with local primary care practices, to deliver primary care health services to low-income children enrolled in public schools.
- $150,000 for the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce to support programming and membership for local businesses.
- $100,000 for Burlington for the creation of a pocket park in the town center.
- $100,000 for People Helping People, Inc. for the maintenance of a food pantry in Burlington.
- $100,000 for air quality improvements to the Burlington Fire Department headquarters.