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Rep. McGonagle, House pass extended COVID-19 funding

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  On January 19, 2022, State Representative Joseph McGonagle and the House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 4340, which appropriates $30 million to establish and expand COVID-19 testing sites, with at least $5 million dedicated to expanding vaccination rates among kids ages five to 11. The youth vaccination efforts would be focused on communities disproportionately affected by the virus. Instead of tapping into some of the $2.25 billion that remains in state American Rescue Plan Act funds, the bill spends money out of the state’s general fund with instructions in the bill pointing to reimbursements from FEMA.

  “As we move forward through the COVID pandemic, we need to learn how to the live with the virus and the difficulties that come with it,” said McGonagle. “Increased access to vaccination and testing sites will allow people to continue their regular routines while feeling safe to do so.”

  On January 26, the Senate unanimously passed a slightly different version of the bill, and on February 3, the Legislature enacted its final version of the bill. On February 12, Governor Charlie Baker returned the bill to the House with some vetoes and amendments.

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