Economic experts backed the Legislature’s take-it-slow approach to doling out a remaining $4.8 billion in federal coronavirus relief funding as Gov. Charlie Baker found himself at odds with Democratic lawmakers over how and when to best spend the cash during the first in a series of hearings.

“We have to start making the investments I proposed now, not months from now,” Baker said, laying out his $2.9 billion plan to immediately invest federal American Rescue Plan Act money before Joint Committee on Ways and Means on Tuesday. “Some of these programs, especially housing and infrastructure projects, require a long implementation time. For others, time is of the essence to address urgent needs.”

The governor’s plan calls for $1 billion for housing and homeownership, $1 billion for infrastructure investments, $450 million for economic development, $240 million for workforce development and $225 million for hospitals and…

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