After being allowed to clear off $2.3 billion in illegal PUA claims, Baker files $3.5 billion legislation to create jobs


Following news that the residents of Massachusetts who illegally claimed unemployment benefits during the pandemic will be receiving full or partial financial relief, Governor Baker's administration has unveiled a new job creation plan worth $3.5 billion.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker during a media briefing.Boston Globe: Gallo Images / Getty Images

Governor Charlie Baker has filed legislation to make $3.5 billion in investments toward job creation across Massachusetts which has been exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic.

This decision will see the state establish various infrastructure projects, including traffic and safety improvements in some of the 351 cities and towns that can be found across Massachusetts.

Governor Baker said that these investments will aim to aid communities and local economies, that way, they can emerge more confident and "stronger in a post-pandemic world."

In his own words, the governor said:

The legislation will make investments in every municipality in Massachusetts, strengthening downtowns ... and giving workers the tools they need to succeed in today’s economy".

This bill will reportedly also help support hundreds of local projects, and some of the investments will be injected into assisting cities and towns in fortifying their infrastructure and revitalizing their downtowns.

A further $300 million, as explained by a report from The Sun, will be made available for the Unemployment Trust Fund to address unemployment overpayments that became worse due to the pandemic.

There is a plan that has been laid to fully or partially part nearly 288,000 people who received Unemployment Pandemic Allowance benefits but were later told they may have to pay back the money.

Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance paid about $2.7 billion in unemployment benefits to 719,000 beneficiaries who were later found to have been overpaid or ineligible for the benefit, according to a report.

Governor Charlie Baker's administration attempted to have nearly $2 billion that it paid to ineligible claimants wiped off, but the Labor Department denied the request that has since been given the go-ahead on certain conditions.

According to the DUA, the most common reason unemployment claimants in Massachusetts were retroactively ruled ineligible for federal benefits was a failure to provide a work history.

The vast majority of those who fraudulently claimed more money from the DUA are said to have done so during a period when the department was attempting to process as many applications as possible due to the pandemic.

Now this $3.5 billion in investments is mostly intended to help aid Massachusetts on its way forward into the post-pandemic world.

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