By Justine Oliva,
Manager of Research,
Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council
The ‘Tracking ARPA’ panel discussed how state and local governments are spending an unprecedented $350 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act aid.
The panelists inquired about the efficacy of state and local investments, and analyzed the processes used to first determine, and later account for and gauge, those investments.
Among the topics discussed were:
- The potential for the innovative use of funds
- The complications of community input
- The relative level of rigidity in the U.S. Treasury’s final rule
- The tendency of many communities to declare fund spending as revenue loss
- ARPA fund spending in communities with general revenue surpluses
- The means through which governments can think about establishing more effective systems of transparency
- The anticipated fiscal condition of state and local programs after ARPA funds are fully expended
Each of the four panelists brought unique expertise to the discussion. Glencora Haskins, Senior Research Analyst and Applied Research Manager at the Brookings Institution, offered nationwide context. Doug Howgate, President of the Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation, provided a case study for how one state—Massachusetts—is managing ARPA funds. Stephen Stuart, Vice President and Research Director at the Bureau of Governmental Research, detailed the experience and direction of the City of New Orleans. Finally, Peter Dunn, Chief Development Officer for the City of Worcester, gave insight into the processes of a local government (Worcester) tasked with distributing ARPA funds. The panel was moderated by Justine Oliva, Manager of Research at the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.
GRA strengthens government research through peer relationships. Start connecting today.