23 April 2024

State and Native Governments Have Billions Left to Spend in Pandemic Support

A 12 months after the Covid-19 pandemic’s onset, the federal authorities accredited $350 billion for state, native and tribal governments to keep up important companies and supply support to households and companies. Even after the general public well being emergency has formally ended, a lot of the funds have but to be spent.

State and native governments had spent lower than half of the funds as of March 31, the latest information out there, in line with a Authorities Accountability Workplace report launched on Wednesday.

States had spent 45 p.c, or $88.2 billion, and made commitments for 60 p.c, or $118.3 billion, of the cash, in line with the report. Native governments had spent 38 p.c and dedicated 54 p.c.

Some native governments have additionally didn’t report their spending to the Treasury Division, which oversees the funding. About 14 p.c of localities, which collectively acquired $3 billion, didn’t submit necessary stories on how they’ve used the funds as of the top of March, the Authorities Accountability Workplace discovered. In August, Treasury officers despatched notices of noncompliance to most of these localities.

The $350 billion was included within the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package deal that additionally supplied direct support to households and small companies struggling to recuperate through the pandemic. The cash was meant to stop painful funds cuts, which state and native governments needed to make when revenues plunged and prices spiked through the Nice Recession final decade. That extended the nation’s restoration and constrained some native economies for years.

States and native governments got broad latitude to make use of the funds. Some recipients have funded infrastructure upgrades, Covid-19 testing efforts and packages to supply shelter for homeless individuals. Others have accredited plans to spend tens of millions on stadium renovations and sports activities complexes.

State and native governments haven’t exhausted their funding partially as a result of they’ve till the top of 2026 to spend the cash. Disagreements over how the funds ought to be spent have slowed planning in some communities.

The biggest share of funds has been spent on changing income that was misplaced because of the pandemic, in line with the accountability company report. In the course of the early days of the pandemic, many state and native governments had projected income losses of as a lot as 20 p.c.

Federal officers allowed recipients to make use of the funds to cowl a broad vary of presidency companies, as much as the quantity of income misplaced due to the pandemic. California, for instance, spent $16.7 billion on restoring state worker pay cuts and funding public packages, amongst different issues. Louisiana spent $115 million to assemble roads and bridges.

13 states used not less than 50 p.c of their awards to exchange income, whereas seven states didn’t spend any funds to take action, in line with the accountability company.

States additionally spent a lot of their funds on addressing different adverse financial impacts of Covid-19. Many contributed to state unemployment insurance coverage belief funds. Michigan spent $25.6 million on a advertising marketing campaign for tourism within the state.