ARPA & HB 632

Below are various helpful resources related to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) as well as the 2021 Montana Legislative Session and the bill to appropriate funds coming to the State (HB 632).

Updated April 2, 2021 (Originally Published March 14, 2021)

The latest COVID-19 relief package, signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, provides $1.9 trillion in mandatory funding, program changes and tax policies aimed at mitigating the continuing effects of the pandemic.

The American Rescue Plan act (ARPA or ARP) builds upon previously enacted aid measures in 2020:

  • The year-end spending and aid package
  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES)
  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Please see below for a summary of provisions as it relates to state and local aid as well as how the passage of the ARPA affects Montana.

State & Local Aid

ARP Provides $350 billion to help states, counties, cities and tribal governments cover increased expenditures, replenish lost revenue and mitigate economic harm from the COVID-19 pandemic.

State and local government recipients could use the funds to cover costs incurred by Dec. 31, 2024. The funds would be distributed in two tranches, with 50% delivered no later than 60 days from the date of enactment, and the remainder delivered no earlier than one year later. States would have to distribute funds to smaller towns within 30 days of receiving a payment from the department. States that miss the deadline would have to pay back any undistributed funds. A town cannot receive more than 75% of its budget as of Jan. 27, 2020. The Treasury Department could also withhold up to half of a state or territory’s allocation for as long as 12 months based on its unemployment rate and require an updated certification of its funding needs.

ARPA Distribution Formula

States and the District of Columbia:$195.3 Billion
  • $25.5 billion would be equally divided to provide each state a minimum of $500 million.
  • $169 billion would be allocated based on the states’ share of unemployed workers over a three-month period, from October-December 2020.
  • $1.25 billion in additional aid for the District of Columbia.
Local Governments:  $130.2 Billion
Divided Evenly Between Non‐county Municipalities & Counties
  • $65.1 billion in direct federal aid to all counties based on the county share of the U.S. population. Counties that are Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) recipients (urban entitlement counties) will receive the larger of the population‐based share or the share under a modified CDBG allocation formula. Treasury shall allocate the first tranche of payments within 60 days of enactment.
  • $65.1 billion to cities and other non‐county municipalities
    – $45.6 billion in direct federal aid for metropolitan cities with populations of at least 50,000  using a modified CDBG formula.
    – $19.5 billion for towns with fewer than 50,000 people based on each jurisdiction’s percentage of the state’s population, not exceeding 75 percent of its most recent budget as of January 27, 2020. Aid is distributed through the states.
U.S. Territories:  $4.5 Billion
Tribal governments:  $20 Billion
Provides $10 billion for a Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund
  • to carry out projects to support work, education and health monitoring during COVID-19.

Utilize the links at the top of this post for more information, including county-by-county estimated allocations.

What Does This Mean for Montana?

Montana has an estimated total of $2.8+ billion coming into its coffers, Representative Frank Garner is carrying the legislation to appropriate the funds: HB 632, Implement receipt of and appropriate federal stimulus and COVID recovery funds.

NOTE: Montana Counties will receive approximately $207 million in direct funding.

HB 632 will be handled much like HB 2 (state budget bill). Subcommittees will convene on their assigned sections and after they finish their work, HB 632 will go back to the full Appropriations Committee. Approps will conduct an open section-by-section review followed by executive action on each section. The committee will then act on the bill as whole. HB 632 will then hit the House Floor and head to the Senate to repeat the process.

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