July 06, 2021
PUBLIC FINANCE > Budget > FY 2022

Jockeying starts over how to spend $5b in federal aid

Pressure mounts as everyone wants a slice of the pie

Shira Schoenberg ,

Commonwealth Magazine

Doug Howgate, executive vice president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the magnitude of the federal response is unprecedented and requires the balancing of speed and strategy to create long-term benefits with one-time money. “There’s always going to be this balance of wanting to be expeditious in acting, but at the same time to do it in a way that’s effective, has a plan, and works not just for this year but the year after that,” Howgate said. In other states, Howgate said, the quickest use of ARPA money has been to backfill budget cuts, but Massachusetts budget writers have been able to avoid making major cuts.