How Massachusetts gets a share of the $787 billion
Massachusetts is likely to receive between $6 billion and $9 billion in federal stimulus funds through the Recovery Act over the next two-plus years. The Act provides funding through more than 100 different state and federal programs. The majority of the funds will flow through existing state programs and through existing formulas.
Part of the funds Massachusetts receives will be in the form of grants to the state, and some of the money will go directly to cities and towns, schools, hospitals, contractors or other organizations.
The Act presents great opportunities for the Commonwealth and significant new responsibilities for state agencies. This much-needed stimulus money will help retain and create jobs and lay a foundation for our long-term economic growth.
The Obama Administration has said it will take some time to get a system in place to ensure that recovery monies are spent effectively and transparently. On February 18 th, federal agencies were given 30 to 60 days to issue guidelines for how money will be spent. Many federal agencies now have their own Recovery Act websites where you can find out more information about how the different agencies and departments are spending the funds allocated to them by the Act.
The federal recovery bill is long and complicated, and the Patrick-Murray Administration continues to assess its specific impacts and benefits for Massachusetts. The Administration is reviewing the 407-page bill to identify all available funds, determine what steps are necessary to receive those funds, and how they can be used. Based on that analysis, the state will build on the work of Task Forces set up by the Governor to develop implementation plans that will clearly outline our plans for using the funds and how they will help us retain and create jobs and boost the economy.
Impact on our Budget
Many people have asked if federal recovery funds will allow the Commonwealth to restore budget cuts. This funding will help, but it will not solve the problem.
The state is facing an unprecedented, nationwide economic recession that has required the state to solve a $2.5 billion budget gap in this fiscal year alone. In response, the Patrick-Murray Administration provided a multi-pronged solution that included cuts, savings, new revenue and the use of stabilization funds. We also included a portion of the anticipated stimulus funds in that solution to stave off even deeper cuts.
To learn more about the Governor Patrick's state Economic Recovery Plan, including the budget, visit www.mass.gov/governor/recoveryplan