Reps. Stanley and Lawn Secure Funding for the Waltham Health Department and Healthy Waltham through Passage of Supplemental Budget
This week Rep. Tom Stanley and Rep. John Lawn, along with their colleagues in the House of Representatives, passed a supplemental budget to facilitate federal CARES Act funding to reimburse communities hard-hit by COVID-19. The bill also establishes Juneteenth Independence Day on June 19th in Massachusetts, marking the day in 1865 when the enslaved people of Galveston, Texas, learned they were free.
Thanks to ongoing efforts by Rep. Stanley and Rep. Lawn, the bill included $200,000 for the Waltham Health Department to staff public health nurses who will help the City trace investigate and trace COVID-19 cases as well as $75,000 for Healthy Waltham to help with their food pantry efforts in meeting the community need created by the pandemic.
The spending measure follows the April passage in Congress of the Federal Cares Act, which requires states to expend funds on items related to COVID-19 for federal reimbursement. The supplemental budget directs funds to address vital needs including for personal protective equipment, field hospitals and contact tracing.
“This supplemental budget will distribute key funds to Waltham and cities and towns across the state, addressing some of the most critical needs in the wake of COVID-19. It will enable us to access federal funds for PPE, contact tracing, childcare support and other vital areas,” said Rep. Stanley. “I was also proud to support the inclusion of making Juneteenth a State Holiday throughout the Commonwealth in this budget. I want to thank the members of the Black & Latino Caucus for their work to forever memorializing June 19th and everything it stands for.”
“By passing this supplemental budget, we are taking one step closer in helping relieve the financial burden that COVID-19 has inflicted, while also helping some prepare for the coming months as the virus continues to inflict pain,” said Rep. Lawn. “When the House voted to acknowledge Juneteenth as an official State holiday it was a very proud moment in history for African American citizens.”
The spending bill includes, among other items:
- $350 Million for personal protective equipment costs across the Commonwealth;
- $139 Million for increased rate add-ons to congregate care providers;
- $94 Million for incentive pay for human service employees;
- $85 Million for field hospitals and shelters;
- $44 Million for Community Tracing Collaborative;
- $81.6 Million for child care needs during the pandemic and re-opening;;
- $500,000 to create an Early Education and Care Public-Private Trust Fund to establish an infrastructure to foster public-private and philanthropic efforts in support of childcare providers.
The bill now moves to the Senate.