BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts House of Representatives approved a $350 million dollar spending plan Wednesday. The bill would cover the cost of things that went over budget last year, such as snow and ice removal.
“Even if we had budgeted at a number different than we did, in a year like this certainly would not have been enough,” said State Representative Joe Wagner (D-Chicopee).
The Governor’s spending bill includes $50 million dollars for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to remove snow and ice from state roads.
“We had such an unprecedented winter. You know, it’s obviously for our state roads and state roads run through every community and throughout the Commonwealth and that’s where the $50-million dollars is going toward,” said State Rep. Nicholas Boldyga (R-Agawam).
A large chunk of the money would go to the Group Insurance Commission who provides health insurance for public employees and retirees. The Baker administration said $190 million dollars is needed to cover the rising cost of health care. Funding for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families was also included, along with money for homeless shelters. The bill was passed unanimously.
Governor Baker urged state lawmakers to act quickly on the spending plan because many items are time-sensitive. The bill now heads to the Senate.