American Rescue Plan Signed into Law by President Biden

Yesterday, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. signed into law the American Rescue Plan (ARP), an expansive new stimulus measure that will send out a third-round of stimulus payments for most Americans. In addition, the legislation, broadly speaking, will provide additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), appropriates funding to closed restaurants and theater venues nationwide, provides an additional extension of unemployment insurance, provides additional funding to reopen elementary and secondary schools, and the package includes funding for hard-hit state and local governments.

Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday issued a statement applauding the American Rescue Plan, indicating the act “will help California roar back from this pandemic.”

Of particular interest to local health departments, the ARP will provide:

  • $46 billion in funding to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement a national, evidence-based strategy for testing, contact tracing, surveillance, and mitigation of COVID-19 infections. This includes additional funding for state and local health departments.
  • $7.5 billion in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support vaccine related activities to prepare, promote, distribute, administer, monitor, and track COVID-19 vaccines. This includes supplemental funding for state and local health departments.
  • $7.66 billion in funding to state, local and territorial public health departments to establish, expand, and sustain their public health workforce.
  • $1.8 billion for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and mitigation activities in congregate settings such as prisons, jails, detentions centers, correctional, detention, psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment facilities, and other residential care facilities.
  • $490 million for the USDA to increase the amount of the cash-value voucher provided under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to up to $35 during the pandemic.
  • $500 million in Community Facility Program funding to provide assistance to rural hospitals and local communities to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines & food assistance.
  • $130 billion for payments to cities and counties to mitigate the fiscal effects from the pandemic.

CHEAC Staff are working on a more in-depth analysis of the ARP. In the interim, NACCHO has prepared a high-level overview, accessible here