Alme said the rate at which ARPA money is spent is inherently different because the pandemic and the economy are at a different stage than they were when the state got the funding from the law. CARES in spring 2020.
“When the CARES Act was passed, you will remember we were just getting into the pandemic,” Alme said in a statement delivered to the Montana State News Bureau on Friday. “We had layoffs, there was money needed for contact tracing, there were a lot of emerging public health needs – and Congress recognized it and said, ‘We’re spending that on these. emerging needs, but this money must be spent by December 31 of this year (2020). United States, we want you to release this money to deal with this emerging crisis. ARPA’s goal was to help the economy recover from the long-term effects. “
The governor’s office also pointed out that with programs such as money for water and sewer projects, grant receipts must first spend their own money before being reimbursed, that is, that is, when the money would appear in the “spent” category.
“In ARPA, dollars can be used for water and sewer infrastructure projects, broadband infrastructure projects, projects that will help the economy get started. None of this was included in the CARES Act. With the CARES Act, the idea was to get the money out the door and get it into people’s hands as quickly as possible to weather the storm. ARPA was more of a long-term recovery goal, and that’s certainly how the legislature, advisory boards and governor focus, ”Alme said.