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Deep Dive: Governor Polis announces distribution of money from American Rescue Plan Act

Posted at 6:19 AM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 10:23:02-04

DENVER — On Monday, Governor Jared Polis, members of Colorado’s legislature, and members of Colorado’s federal delegation discussed the state’s plans to distribute federal funds made available to Colorado as part of the American Rescue Act.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury released the allocations and spending guidelines for the $5.7 billion that will soon be headed to Colorado and its local governments as part of the American Rescue Plan.

President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus package back in March, which includes $350 billion for state and local governments across the country they will be able to use in several ways to come out of the pandemic.

Colorado and its local governments will get $5.7 billion in total from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds: $3.8 billion for the state; $1.1 billion for counties; $551 million for metropolitan cities and $265 million for local governments with 50,000 or fewer people.

Governor Polis broke down the proposal for $3.8 billion in state funding as:

  • 1/3 to shore up Colorado's budget
  • 1/3 towards workforce development, housing, and mental and behavioral health
  • 1/3 creating jobs in transportation, public lands, and agriculture

Polis says the funds, "present a once in a generation opportunity to improve our quality of life, invigorate our economy, and help our state recover faster and stronger than ever before."

The Treasury Department has rules surrounding what the funds can be used for, but the scope is fairly broad.

States, counties or local governments can fund COVID-19 mitigation efforts; address economic impacts including rehiring of workers, housing and food stability, small business assistance and more; address inequalities surrounding the economy, education and public health; give premium pay to essential workers; and put the money toward infrastructure improvements, among other things.

Full breakdown of how much counties and cities will receive from the American Rescue Plan:

State and local officials have been eagerly anticipating the funding amounts and guidance since the American Rescue Plan was on the verge of being signed, saying that the extra funding will help propel the recovery in Colorado and boost efforts to make societal changes coming out of the pandemic.

Across Colorado, 19 health centers are getting a total of $131 million, according to the Health Resources & Services Administration:

All of the above funding comes from the federal level. In March 2021, the Colorado Recovery Plan as outlined by Governor Jared Polis and state lawmakers calls for roughly $800 million in state funding for a wide range of programs. This is in addition to the $5.7 billion the state of Colorado and our communities will receive as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

This interactive chart breaks down the spending summary along the 5 pillars announced by Governor Polis.

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