Unemployed workers in Massachusetts are beginning to receive an additional $300 a week in benefits approved by federal authorities, Gov. Charlie Baker disclosed Wednesday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the state's request to take part in the emergency program, which is funded with federal dollars previously allocated by Congress.

"It's an important step in ensuring that we sustain supplemental relief for people who are out of work here in Massachusetts through no fault of their own during this pandemic."

The money serves as a replacement for the weekly $600 payments out of work Americans had been relying on through July and will apply to both traditional unemployment applicants and self-employed workers whose eligibility was expanded by the CARES Act. Payments will be retroactive to August 1.

Baker said the new payments, which are diversions of disaster funding through FEMA, are not a permanent solution to the state's unemployment woes. Massachusetts has highest unemployment in the nation, with a rate of 16.1 percent.

Baker said both Democrats and Republicans in Congress need to end their stalemate over additional stimulus dollars and extend more meaningful unemployment assistance soon.

"It's important for Washington to step up and do what they said they were going to do last summer, which is to implement a COVID-19 relief package that supports a longer term, more traditional unemployment benefit program and to support the states and localities and in many cases have borne much of the burden of making sure their communities are safe," Baker said.

Senate Republicans' most recent stimulus proposal does not include aid for states and local government, a move Bake says "doesn't make a lot of sense." Baker said he hears from Washington that Congress wants businesses to reopen as quickly as possible.

"It's awful hard to do that if you're not offering support to the two entities in government - us and then the locals - who have been investing an enormous amount of money in fighting and battling their way through this," Baker said.

The question of whether the state can expect to see a bailout from the federal government is keeping state budget-writers from finalizing a spending plan for the fiscal year that began in July.

"We'll know a lot more in 30 days than we know now and I think then we are probably going to have to put the marker down and say 'ok, this is what we think the rest of the year looks like,"

Baker was asked about, and denied, a recent GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting article showing his administration inflated claims about how much state contractors spend on minority-owned businesses.

"We have a pretty decent program for following up on that stuff, and I disagree with virtually everything that is in the GBH report," Baker said. "And you guys should come spend some time talking to us about it," the governor added, though the state's Supplier Diversity Office and Baker’s own office turned down multiple requests from GBH News for interviews about the contractor program.

The group Lawyers for Civil Rights called the Baker administration's policy "tantamount to fraud."

"Far from a victimless crime, the Baker Administration’s misrepresentations harm small businesses by depriving them of economic opportunity. This fundamentally undermines communities of color and impoverishes our Commonwealth," the group wrote in a statement responding the GBH report.