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President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which includes more than $7.1 billion in total for Washington state and local governments, into law today 

Senator Murray: “Beating this virus means making sure our states, counties, cities, towns, and Tribes have the resources to continue an effective and strong response—and with the signing of the American Rescue Plan, help is finally on the way”

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, released the estimated relief funding for localities in Washington state through the American Rescue Plan. As Washington state has sustained massive revenue shortfalls while facing a host of increased spending needs, the American Rescue plan would provide much needed direct aid for Washington state and its cities, towns, and counties. Senator Murray has been a leading voice in the Senate in the push for funding to support state, local, and Tribal governments since the start of the pandemic. The American Rescue Plan was signed into law by President Biden earlier today.

Under the legislation’s state and local funding provisions alone, Washington state will receive an estimated $4.253 billion, localities within the state, such as cities and counties, are estimated to receive a total of $2.661 billion, and $189 million will be allocated toward critical infrastructure projects in the state. Overall, the $1.9 trillion dollar American Rescue Plan provides $360 billion to states, territories, Tribes, and local governments to be used for responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency, to offset revenue losses, to bolster economic recovery and to provide premium pay for essential workers.

“Beating this virus means making sure our states, counties, cities, towns, and Tribes have the resources to continue an effective and strong response—and with the signing of the American Rescue Plan, help is finally on the way,” Senator Murray said. “Washington state families are relying on the people our state and local governments employ—whether it’s our health care workers, our teachers, EMS, transportation workers—to keep our families safe and healthy and our communities running as the work continues to end this pandemic.”

Nationwide, state and local governments have had to eliminate 1.4 million jobs since the pandemic began and job losses increased by 50,000 in December. The need is particularly pronounced at the local level: a National League of Cities survey showed a 21-percent revenue decline on average among cities with losses and the National Association of Counties projected a 20-percent revenue decline. These figures may grow worse over time as property tax revenue decreases have lagged recessions by two years or more.

These budget impacts for localities do not account for increased expenses, which many localities have incurred while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and which were not recognized for most cities and counties in the CARES Act (where money went to only localities with 500,000 persons or more).

State and local fiscal relief funds can be used for local economic recovery purposes, including assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits, assistance to hard-hit industries like tourism, travel, and hospitality, and infrastructure investment.

Estimated data on funding allocated to counties, metro cities, and other localities in Washington state can be found HERE.

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