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Iowa governments in line for over $4B in COVID-19 aid

Iowa governments in line for over $4B in COVID-19 aid

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Biden

President Joe Biden speaks about the American Rescue Plan, a coronavirus relief package, in the Rose Garden of the White House on March 12 in Washington. Vice President Kamala Harris is at right. 

DES MOINES — Iowa governments are in line for more than $4.45 billion in federal COVID-19 relief money under a nationwide $1.9 trillion package signed earlier this month by President Joe Biden, according to a preliminary analysis issued Monday by the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency.

Iowa’s $4.451 billion share of the American Rescue Plan Act represents funds flowing through state government and do not include stimulus funding to individuals and families that totals about an additional $3.77 billion in direct payments to Iowans, the analysis indicated.

Overall, the federal package provided relief funding to individuals, businesses, states and local governments.

Of the state government’s share, agency analysts estimate $1.379 billion will be distributed from the State Fiscal Recovery Fund, and local governments are estimated to receive about $1.162 billion from the Local Fiscal Relief Fund.

A further breakdown of that $1.162 billion projected that $335 million would go to metropolitan cities, $216 million to other local governments and $612 million to counties, the agency said in its estimate.

According to the National League of Cities, allocations to metro cities are based a federal measurement that weighs population, poverty level and the degree of housing instability.

Based on that formula, the league projects allocations among Iowa’s metro cities will be:

Ames, $15.02 million; Cedar Falls, $6.81 million; Cedar Rapids, $26.43 million; Council Bluffs, $24.62 million; Davenport, $39.82 million; Des Moines, $94.55 million; Dubuque, $27.43 million; Iowa City, $17.39 million; Sioux City, 43.11 million; Waterloo, $31.24 million; and West Des Moines, $8.15 million.

Allocations to counties are based on their relative populations. Black Hawk County is in line to receive more than $25 million.

Funds provided to state and local governments have broad spending flexibility, including addressing emergency and economic effects of the pandemic; replenishing revenue losses due to the shutdown of the economy; investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure; and premium pay to essential workers, according to the agency’s report.

But the funds are not to be used to make payments to public employee pension funds or to reduce taxes directly or indirectly.

States and local governments may use the funds for qualifying costs incurred through Dec. 31, 2024.

Also, within the total allocation from the federal act, the state of Iowa is estimated to receive $152.8 million from the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund — money that can be used for capital projects that directly enable work, education, and health monitoring in response to the public health emergency, according to the agency.

James Q. Lynch of The Gazette contributed to this report.

“Sportsbooks should get an even bigger boost if Iowa or Drake can manage a prolonged run in the NCAA Tournament.”

Dustin Gouker, PlayIA.com

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