COLORADO SPRINGS — 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.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called the funding “a milestone” in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the Great Recession, when cities and states were facing similar revenue shortfalls, the federal government didn’t provide enough aid to close the gap,” Yellen said in a statement. “That was an error. Insufficient relief meant that cities had to slash spending, and that austerity undermined the broader recovery. With today’s announcement, we are charting a very different – and much faster – course back to prosperity.”
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.
Breakdown of where the $3.8 billion will go from state programs.
Full breakdown of how much counties and cities will receive from the American Rescue Plan:
The Treasury Department has rules surrounding what the funds can be used for, but the scope is fairly broad.
“Through these funds in the American Rescue Plan, Colorado state and local governments will receive much-needed, flexible funding to support a wide range of efforts, from investing in broadband to helping the hardest-hit businesses reopen their doors to funding our public health infrastructure,” Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., said in a statement. “This support will help us bridge our way out of this pandemic into an economy that provides opportunity to all.”
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.
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.
In March, state budget forecasters said the funding would dissipate negative risks forecast several months ago and help bring the economy back to pre-pandemic levels in a quicker fashion. The Office of State Planning and Budgeting estimated about $6 billion would be coming to Colorado.
The money will come in two waves – half this month and the other half about this time next year. Many counties and municipalities are still deciding what they will do with the money and reviewing guidance from the Treasury Department.
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.