Legislature settles on final version of ARPA Spending Plan

In recent news 

On December 3, 2021 the legislature passed H.4269 “An Act Relative to Immediate COVID-19 Recovery Needs”. The $4B spending plan directed specific allocations to a variety of sectors and projects impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The legislation included $60 million for the Mass Cultural Council to distribute through new grant programs for recovery and stabilization support to artists and cultural organizations. 

What has happened so far

The path to a final bill began in June 2021 when Governor Baker released his proposal to invest $2.8 billion in federal COVID-19 funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. Over the last seven months, arts and cultural advocates from across Massachusetts have rallied for significant funding for the creative sector. 

Along the way, both the House and Senate versions included direct recovery grant support for artists and cultural organizations:

The Final Version

The final version passed by the legislature and sent to Governor Baker for signature, included line item 1599-2043 “For a reserve for cultural and tourism assets” totaling $135 million and 7002-1530 "For capital improvements, cultural and tourism related programs and special projects" totaling $13.6 million.

LINE ITEM 1599-2043 for Arts & Tourism Assets - $135M

Included in the $135 million allocation is $60M for funds for grants to artists and cultural organizations to be administered by the Mass Cultural Council. The remaining $74M is earmarked for specific organizations and projects.

The $74.8 million of earmarks includes allocations for a number of purposes:

  • $13.5 million for earmarks to arts, culture and tourism projects and organizations
  • $51.7M for earmarks for infrastructure projects - $50M specifically for the MBTA.
  • $5.2 million for earmarks to economic development projects
  • $1.9 million for earmarks to social service projects
  • $900,000 for workforce development earmarks
  • $378,000 for earmarks to municipalities  
  • $1.1M for other miscellaneous earmarks

LINE ITEM 7002-1530 for capital improvements, cultural and tourism related programs and special projects - $13.6M

Included in the $13.6M line item are earmarks specifically for arts, cultural and tourism efforts. 

  • $12.7 million for earmarks to arts, culture and tourism projects and organizations
  • $100,000 for Cultural Associations
  • $100,000 for Social services
  • $90,000 for Municipal infrastructure projects
  • $50,000 for Economic Development

What Comes Next?

Governor Baker signed the bill on Monday December 13. He line item vetoed a policy section related to awarding premium pay to frontline workers.

It is important to note that a little more than $2.3 billion in federal ARPA funds are still available for future allocation by the legislature. In January the annual budget process begins when Governor Baker releases his FY23 budget proposal.

MASSCreative will work with arts and cultural advocates across Massachusetts to continue our advocacy to lawmakers on prioritizing the arts and cultural sector when making decisions on these two bills. 

Join MASSCreative this month of its ALL IN campaign to support this sustained advocacy by either making a donation and/or become an organizational member of MASSCreative.

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published this page in Reach out to your State Legislators 2021-12-09 14:20:29 -0500

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