By The Center Square, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon on Monday outlined how his administration intends to use the $1 billion in federal funds allocated to the state.
The governor’s announcement comes just days after the U.S. Department of Treasury launched the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery funds providing $350 billion in emergency aid to states.
The funding will assist state, local and tribal governments through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act passed by the U.S. Congress in March. Wyoming is set to receive $1 billion from the federal funds to address impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gordon said in a Monday press release that the three areas he plans to disburse the money to are health and social services, education and workforce, and economic diversity and development.
The areas of focus will encompass both short and long-term priorities, allowing for a mix of recovery efforts from the pandemic’s economic effects as well as opportunities for investment.
“We are going to be laser-focused on addressing Wyoming’s short and long-term recovery, and on getting people back to work,” Gordon said. “I want to ensure we use these dollars to thrive in the long-term, because this federal spending is increasing debt on our children and the generations to come. We must not squander this opportunity to invest wisely in our state’s future.”
Unlike previous relief money that was required to be spent immediately, the state has three years to spend the allotment and will release a distribution framework of the funds in June.
The national disbursement of $350 billion in fiscal recovery money is outlined by the federal government, which gives states more than half of the funds. Over $150 billion in separate funds will be dealt to counties, cities, tribal governments, and territories.
The Treasury Department has listed a variety of acceptable uses for the money such as increased pay for essential workers, addressing economic impacts from the public health emergency, infrastructure and assisting public sectors with lost revenues.
Wyoming has received the first half of its payment and will secure the other half from the Treasury within the next 12 months.