April 8, 2021
Federal COVID relief legislation since March 2020 has appropriated more than $24 billion that has flowed or will flow through Washington’s state and local governments. Allocations from the latest bill, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, are still being determined, so the $24 billion figure will grow. (Indeed, note that the numbers in this post are estimates and are in flux—this is what we know today.)
Some of the funding will essentially just pass through the state on the way to the purposes earmarked by Congress. But the state has a larger role to play in deciding how other funds are used (for example, the Coronavirus relief fund and the Coronavirus state fiscal recovery fund).
According to the operating budget documents, $6.423 billion has been distributed by Gov. Inslee via the unanticipated receipts process (RCW 43.79.270 and RCW 43.79.280). (The figure includes $580.4 million from the ARP Act’s higher education emergency relief fund round III. The House budget documents include it, but the Senate documents do not.) Additionally, in February, the Legislature passed HB 1367 and ESHB 1368, which appropriated additional state and federal relief money for 2019–21. Together, and net of funds that will not be spent by the end of 2019–21, the state has already allocated $7.311 billion in federal relief.
On top of the $7.311 billion, the Senate-passed operating budget would appropriate $6.837 billion and the House-passed operating budget would appropriate $8.776 billion in federal relief dollars. (The estimates of the proposals’ federal relief appropriations are inclusive of 2019–21 and 2021–23.)
A big difference between the two is how they would use the Coronavirus state fiscal recovery fund (CSFRF). This is the general funding for states included in the ARP Act. The state of Washington is expected to receive $4.253 billion from this fund. The funds must be used by Dec. 31, 2024, but the U.S. Department of the Treasury has not yet released guidance on allowable uses of the funds.
The Senate would use $1.910 billion from the CSFRF ($510.3 million in the operating budget, $400.0 million in the capital budget, and $1 billion in the transportation budget). The House would use $3.493 billion from the CSFRF ($2.293 billion in the operating budget, $400.0 million in the capital budget, and $800.0 million in the transportation budget).
The table shows how the proposals would use the federal funds; click on the table for a spreadsheet with more details about specific spending items.
The table does not include the enhanced federal Medicaid match, which is assumed to be in place through Dec. 31, 2021 (and beyond that for certain programs). The Senate budget assumes the state will receive $1.090 billion from the enhanced match through 2021–23; the House assumes $1.085 billion. These dollars supplant state funding for Medicaid.Categories: Budget , Categories.
Tags: 2021-23 , ARP Act , CARES Act , COVID-19 , other federal action on COVID-19 , state action on COVID-19