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Baker Signs $15 Million Supplemental Budget For Coronavirus Support

Gov. Charlie Baker has signed a supplemental $15 million budget to help the state deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

The bill doesn't offer additional instructions as to how the money is to be used, but Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday that he anticipates a large portion of the money will be directed into communities for first responders and local boards of health.

But some lawmakers are skeptical that more money may be needed.

House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz said the funding is a "down payment" on some of the things the administration may need in the event of a public health crisis. He said the Baker administration has broad jurisdiction over the money.

"We wanted to make sure that there was enough leeway or enough latitude for them to be able to administer things that, you know, maybe we're not even thinking of at the moment that might need to be done," Michlewitz said.

Michlewitz said lawmakers are having conversations about what might be needed in the future, but with the uncertainty of the coronavirus, it is difficult to plan.

This story includes reporting from WBUR's Steve Brown and State House News Service.

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