This Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) Federal Update for October 28, 2021, highlights ISACo's support for legislation creating spending flexibility for use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and links to several articles with information about legislative and policy developments at the federal level of interest to counties.
U.S. Senate Approves Legislation Creating Flexibility for Expenditure of ARPA Funds
On October 19, 2021, the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act (S.3011) passed the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support and will next be considered in the U.S. House of Representatives.
This legislation, supported by the National Association of Counties (NACo) and ISACo, would strengthen the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (Recovery Fund) and allow states and local governments more flexibility in the following ways:
- Allows counties to allocate up to $10 million in ARPA Recovery Funds for the provision of government services and $10 million (or 30 percent) for infrastructure-related activities authorized under existing federal surface transportation laws (including local match for some programs) and projects eligible under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
- Permits the use of funds in providing emergency relief from natural disasters and their negative economic impacts, such as temporary emergency housing, food assistance, financial assistance for lost wages, and other immediate needs.'
- Clarifies an “eligible revenue share county” is the same as Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT) counties and redirects 1 percent (or $15 million) from the original $1.5B for public lands “revenue share” counties to U.S. territories.
On October 26, companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives with 32 bipartisan co-sponsors. The bill number is H.R. 5735.
On October 27, ISACo sent a letter to members of Illinois' Congressional Delegation urging support for passage of S. 3011 in the U.S. House of Representatives. Illinois county leaders are requested to contact their member(s) of Congress to urge their support for S.3011 and H.R. 5735.
If this additional expenditure flexibility becomes federal law, Illinois counties would be authorized to spend more than $2.5 billion of ARPA funds towards transportation and infrastructure projects and more than $565 million toward government services. The amount of additional expenditure flexibility for each Illinois county is identified in this spreadsheet.
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