ARPA has delivered billions of direct and flexible relief to America’s cities, towns and villages during an unprecedented health and economic crisis.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – National League of Cities (NLC) CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony issued the following statement recognizing the one-year anniversary of the American Rescue Plan Act becoming law ahead of NLC’s Congressional City Conference, gathering thousands of municipal leaders in Washington, D.C.:
“As the COVID-19 pandemic spread through our country in 2020, local leaders rose to the occasion to combat this unprecedented challenge. Cities, towns and villages were responsible for keeping daily and essential services running, providing public health services, and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable residents and local businesses, all while facing a historic economic crisis. The nationwide shutdown, while critical to slow the spread of the virus, had a devastating effect on municipal budgets. Many communities were faced with impossible choices, like having to decide between cutting critical services or laying off municipal employees.
NLC marshalled local leaders from across the country who raised their voices to say that their communities needed help and that “Cities are essential!” Congress listened, and exactly one year ago today, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) became law.
This vital legislation was a lifeline for communities of all sizes across the country. It included the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), a notable first that ensured every municipality could receive money. The program provided $65 billion of direct aid to every city, town and village, a result of NLC’s relentless advocacy. By including this program, leaders in Washington recognize the direct and critical role that local governments play in implementing measures necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare of our communities.
In the last year since the bill was signed into law, communities have used these investments to combat the public health crisis, help vulnerable residents and pave the way for an equitable and sustainable recovery. We thank the Administration and Congress for passing this important legislation and working closely with us to ensure municipalities of all sizes can maximize this opportunity. We will continue to share the significant positive impact of federal relief dollars to support residents and local businesses in need and stabilize government operations.”
NLC is tracking thousands of projects across the country made possible by ARPA funds, each addressing a community’s specific needs. Through our partnership with Brookings Metro and the National Association of Counties (NACo), we recently launched the Local Government ARPA Investment Tracker, an online resource that compiles information from local governments to offer a detailed picture of how large cities and counties are deploying SLFRF dollars. The tool tracks more than $18 billion in SLFRF investments across 152 local governments.
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.