Hearings set for how to spend billions in US aid

State lawmakers this month plan two public hearings on how to spend large portions of coronavirus relief funds across Massachusetts. The two hearings, both taking place online, are set for Tues., July 20, and Tues., July 27.

The July 20 hearing is expected to focus on Gov.

Baker’s spending plan for $2.9 billion in federal aid. Baker’s plan, filed June 28, would go toward housing and homeownership, economic development, and local downtowns, job training, health care and infrastructure projects, according to the Baker administration.

Another $2 billion is in the state’s federal Covid-19 response fund, and the administration plans to work “closely with the Legislature to allocate these resources in a fiscally responsible and compliant manner.”

The hearing is also expected to take testimony from outside experts on national trends and best practices for spending the funds.

The July 27 hearing will focus on labor and workforce development, as well as housing.

The funds come through the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was signed into law in March.

The Legislature’s Senate and House budget-writing committees are hosting the hearings. Additional hearings are planned for “the coming months.”

Lawmakers said the budget-writing committees were working with other committees on the hearings.

State Rep. Dan Hunt of Dorchester is the chair of the House Committee on Federal Stimulus and Census Oversight. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment before the paper went to press.