On March 11, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), which provides for almost $2 trillion of new federal spending to combat the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of particular interest for Pennsylvania is the approximate $350 billion of new funding appropriated to tribal governments, states, territories, and local governments, $14 billion of which is estimated to be received by Pennsylvania and its municipalities. With the U.S. Department of the Treasury mandated to pay out a substantial portion of the funds within 60 days of the enactment of ARPA, Pennsylvania and its municipalities might see initial funding from ARPA as early as May.

Congress through ARPA appropriated $350 billion in new funding to tribal governments, states, territories and local governments to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, with $220 billion going to states, territories, and tribal governments; and $130 billion going to local governments. Congress appropriated an additional $10 billion to establish a Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, the proceeds of which shall be paid out to states, territories, and tribal governments for capital projects directly enabling work, education and health monitoring in response to the pandemic. Potential applicants will have to submit a grant application, the details of which have yet to be announced, before obtaining any amounts from this project fund.

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