BOSTON (WWLP) – We are almost two years into the pandemic and the Commonwealth still struggles with testing, contact tracing and youth vaccinations. However, a $55 million plan that was just passed by the House could help to solve some of those issues.
Through the COVID-19 relief bill, House lawmakers appropriated $30 million to open new testing sites and expand existing operations. On top of that, lawmakers dedicated $5 million to improve the youth vaccination rate in Massachusetts.
“That’s really focused on areas of the state where kids who are between the ages of 5 and 12 have very low vaccination rates are going to get a little bit of an extra boost to try and encourage vaccinations in that age group,” said State Representative Lindsay Sabadosa of Northampton.
When asked about the bill, Governor Baker said he mostly agreed with the House’s spending priorities. However, he noted that funding might not fix the Commonwealth’s biggest issue regarding the pandemic which is staffing.
The house passed the bill in a 159 to zero vote. It is headed to the Senate now for consideration, if they agree with the bill’s language it will be sent to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.