The Massachusetts chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding Governor Charlie Baker for signing into law H4269, legislation that would utilize $65 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to fund gun violence prevention programs and initiatives across the state. Of the funding, $50 million is set to go towards community-based violence intervention and prevention programs, the expansion of reentry programs, and youth employment programs, among others. An additional $15 million will fund municipal grants to create and expand pre-arrest co-response programs focused on strengthening mental health responses for people in crisis.
“Providing meaningful, sustainable funding to life-saving violence intervention and prevention programs is essential to combatting the gun violence epidemic in Massachusetts,” said Kristen Bauer, a volunteer with the Massachusetts chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We thank Governor Baker for signing this significant funding bill and continuing his commitment to promoting gun safety in our state, as well as Speaker Mariano, Senate President Spilka, Chairmen Michlewitz and Rodrigues, and the rest of our Legislature for taking proactive steps to ensure the safety of Massachusetts communities and continuing to demonstrate leadership on gun safety.”
To assist states and local communities across the country, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law in March of 2021, authorizing $130 billion in funding for local governments to counter the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local governments can now utilize ARPA funds to address gun violence in cities as increased gun violence can be traced to the impact of the pandemic, and violence intervention professionals are performing essential frontline work to protect the public and interrupt gun violence.