Local ARPA Funds Can Build a Lasting Recovery

The federal American Rescue Plan Act directed $1.8 billion to Louisiana cities, towns and parishes. This money has now started making its way into local government coffers, helping to mitigate budget shortfalls caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it also presents a rare opportunity for local communities to make investments that can help lift families and neighborhoods out of poverty. A new policy brief by LBP economic opportunity policy analyst Jackson Voss explains how these dollars can be used, and says local input will be critical to ensuring the money is spent wisely. 

“Local governments are finally getting the first tranche of resources they need to respond to the public health and economic crisis caused by Covid-19,” Voss said. “To ensure these funds are spent in ways that will help people most in need, advocates must start organizing now and local government leaders need to be willing to listen.”

With Local ARPA Funds, Louisiana’s Advocates Can Build a Lasting Recovery lays out some guiding principles on how these dollars should be spent, and provides ideas for how local governments can use federal recovery money to build stronger and more equitable economies.

They include details about safety-net programs like Medicaid, tax credits for low-income workers and educational scholarships and help promote a better understanding of how safety-net programs affect different communities across our state.
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