BOSTON (SHNS) – U.S. Treasury officials on Monday adopted an interim final rule outlining a non-exclusive list of ways that state and local governments can use American Rescue Plan Act funding to respond to negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
Allowable uses, according to a Treasury fact sheet, include COVID-19 mitigation efforts like vaccination programs, PPE purchases, and enhancement of public health data systems; assistance to households for food, rent, and mortgage payments or utilities; replenishing unemployment trust funds to pre-pandemic levels; loans or grants to help small businesses and non-profits; behavioral health care services for needs exacerbated by the pandemic; water, broadband and sewer infrastructure investments; premium pay for essential workers, and more.
Local governments will receive funds in two tranches, the Treasury said, with half provided starting this month and the balance about 12 months later.
“States that have experienced a net increase in the unemployment rate of more than 2 percentage points from February 2020 to the latest available data as of the date of certification will receive their full allocation of funds in a single payment; other states will receive funds in two equal tranches,” the Treasury said.
“Today is a milestone in our country’s recovery from the pandemic and its adjacent economic crisis. With this funding, communities hit hard by COVID-19 will able to return to a semblance of normalcy; they’ll be able to rehire teachers, firefighters, and other essential workers – and to help small businesses reopen safely,” Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.