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  • Writer's pictureJocelyn Thompson

July 8th, 2022

Welcome to the Friday Update from the Federal Funding Hub!

This message shares news and resources so that our region can make the most of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and other federal funding.

What is MSP Airport going to do with $7m in IIJA dollars? Find out below.

News from MSP

  • Chisago County: The Chisago County commissioners received the first requests for school funding from the Braham and Cambridge-Isanti school districts. The county has allocated $600,000 in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to be split among the six school districts that draw students from the county, with the amount of available funding based on the percentage of the county’s students at each school.

  • Minneapolis Police Department: When city officials earlier this spring signed off on a plan to divvy out American Rescue Plan funding, they gave additional money to MPD, leaving it with a roughly $196 million budget. That's about $3 million more than the department had budgeted at the beginning of 2020. Yet the department today has about 260 fewer officers, and questions remain about whether it can spend all the money it has.

  • Ramsey County: The State of Minnesota has notified Ramsey County that it will soon receive $6 million toward homeless services from leftover federal pandemic relief funds, and county officials expect to issue a request for proposals next week. The goal is to secure between 100 and 200 beds for the homeless this fall, with services potentially running into May of 2023.


National News

  • Build Back Better: Optimism is growing that Senate Democrats could try again to pass President Biden’s Build Back Better plan. While environmental advocates expect the previous $1.75 trillion proposal to be significantly scaled back, hundreds of billions of dollars in climate funding could still be headed to states and local governments.

  • Federal Committee Is Watching Over Pandemic Funds Spending: The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee is on the lookout for fraud and other issues with trillions in federal Covid aid. But the watchdog is also assembling a wealth of data on programs the money is going to.

  • Thinking Big with ARPA: Across the country, some local governments are using federal aid from the American Rescue Plan to launch "transformational" projects in areas like affordable housing, public safety and ridding homes of lead—things that will endure long after the money is spent.

  • Economic Policy Institute: State and local governments have made transformative investments with American Rescue Plan recovery funds in 2022. A tighter focus on working families and children will have the greatest impact going forward.

  • Public-Private Partnership: A new United States Conference of Mayors taskforce will assist mayors in identifying opportunities, challenges, and best practices for using public-private partnerships.

  • Nonprofits and ARPA: As the second tranche of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) funding flows to municipalities around the country, new realities are surfacing about cities’ and counties’ readiness to execute on this unprecedented amount of money. Not surprisingly, the picture is mixed.

  • Union pensions: The American Rescue Plan passed in March 2021 included a special finance assistance program that allows struggling multiemployer pension plans to apply to the PBGC for assistance. The final rule being unveiled by the Biden administration is designed to make it easier for the pensions' investments to receive a higher rate of return.


IIJA News

  • Airports: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award nearly $1 billion from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to 85 airports across the country to improve terminals of all sizes. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will receive $7.1 million to replace five passenger boarding bridges and relocate one passenger boarding bridge.

  • Safeguarding Water Supplies: The Department of the Interior today announced a $36.1 million investment, including $26.7 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds, to safeguard local water supplies in the wake of record drought across the West.

  • Combatting Climate Change: President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)makes available more than $27 billion in federal funding to help State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) meet their declining GHG targets.

  • Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Grant Programs: The following list is five-year totals for all grant programs authorized under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the Department of Transportation.

  • Equity: The U.S. Department of Transportation created a Fact Sheet: on Equity in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.


Upcoming Webinars

  • Reconnecting Communities Program: The U.S. Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for the Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) discretionary grant program. DOT will host an “Interested in Applying?” webinar for prospective applicants on Thursday, July 14 from 11:00 to 12:30 PM CT. Register here.

  • e311: The Federal Assistance e311 Program, a partnership between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the United States Conference of Mayors, will be hosting a 90-minute webinar on strategies for municipalities to navigate federal grants. Click here to join the webinar on Thursday, July 14 from 1:00 pm-2:30 CT (Meeting ID 831 8575 7539, Passcode 787632).

  • Bioproducts: An informational webinar for those interested in applying will be held on July 14, 2022, at 2:00 – 3:30 pm Central Time. To register, please visit the Bioproduct Pilot Program Informational Webinar page.

  • Buy America: Join NLC on July 21st from 1:00 pm- 2:00 pm CT to learn about Congress beginning a new phase of the “Buy America” policy with a new office in the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to coordinate a broad federal effort to ensure federal funds are buying products made in the U.S. Register here.


Resources

  • 2 New Dashboards:

    • The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) launched a new dashboard tracking spending from the $350 billion Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, the primary state and local aid program created by the American Rescue Plan Act.

    • Results for America, a non-profit that promotes evidence-based policymaking, created a dashboard called the ARP Data and Evidence Dashboard in collaboration with consulting company Mathematica to track how communities are spending their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)) Allocation. It also provides the capability to compare jurisdictions.


Upcoming Funding Deadlines













Have a great weekend! We will be taking a break and will return on July 22nd.

Allison

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