COVID SPENDING WEBSITE

By Bob Katzen

The House 31-126, Senate 4-35, rejected Gov. Baker’s amendment to a bill requiring the state to create a searchable website that will show how the state spends the federal funds it receives to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Baker’s amendment made several changes including deleting a section that requires the site to be updated on a weekly basis and replacing it with a requirement it be updated on a “regular” basis.

“I am supportive of the intent of this section and the Office of Administration and Finance is currently developing such a website,” said Baker in a letter attached to his amendment. “However, some of the requirements included in the section are unable to be implemented or are administratively burdensome, such as a requirement that the website be updated weekly. Additionally, I am recommending that the February 1, 2021 deadline to implement this section be extended until March 30, 2021 in order ensure that the site is fully operative.”

Opponents of the amendment said a weekly update is important, so people know where these millions of dollars are being spent. They said requiring a “regular” report is too vague and doesn’t mean anything.

READERS: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY WHAT A YES AND NO VOTE MEAN.

(In the House, a “Yes” vote is for Baker’s amendment. A “No” vote is against Baker’s amendment.)

(In the Senate, the vote was on a motion to REJECT Baker’s amendment. Therefore, a “Yes” vote is against Baker’s amendment. A “No” vote is for Baker’s amendment.)

Rep. Christine Barber No Rep. Mike Connolly No Rep. Denise Provost No Sen. Patricia Jehlen Yes

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