Baker opposes Trump’s stimulus alternative
Says proposal diverts funds states are counting on
GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said he opposes President Trump’s stimulus alternative because it relies for funding on money Massachusetts and other states are counting on to cover COVID-19 costs and related expenditures.
With Congress unable to come to agreement on a stimulus package, Trump over the weekend signed a number of orders, including one that would provide an extra $400 a week to people out of work and receiving existing unemployment insurance benefits.
Baker said Trump intends to use money appropriated to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover the federal government’s share of the enhanced unemployment insurance benefit, which comes to three-quarters of the cost. States would be required to cover the remaining cost of the benefit, and Trump has said they could use CARES Act funds to do so.
Baker said Trump’s proposal is credible, but it takes money that states are already counting on to cover their COVID-19 costs and uses those funds to pay for the enhanced unemployment insurance benefit.
Baker said he would prefer that Congress step up and pass a comprehensive stimulus plan. “It’s really important that there be a fourth [stimulus] package,” he said.