By Bob Katzen

The House 156-0, Senate on a voice vote without a roll call, approved a $1.6 billion supplemental budget that contains $700 million for COVID-19 related expenses including $432 million for COVID-19 testing, $72 million for treatments, $45 million for expanded vaccination access and $25 million for personal protective equipment.

Other provisions include $140 million for grants to special education schools to address the impacts of COVID-19 and subsequent variants; $100 million for cities and towns for roads; $100 million for rental assistance for needy families; and extending eviction protections for tenants who have active assistance applications.

The package also extends from April 1, 2022 to April 1, 2023 outdoor dining at restaurants and from May 1, 2022 to April 1, 2023 the law allowing restaurants to sell beer, wine and cocktails with takeout orders.

Supporters said the package is a fiscally responsible one that will fund important programs, benefit many residents and help Massachusetts prepare for the future.

(A “Yes” vote is for the $1.6 billion package).

Rep. Christine Barber Yes Rep. Mike Connolly Yes Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven Yes

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