Washington will receive $229 million from the ARP Act for COVID testing in schools; operating budgets will be proposed this week

By: Emily Makings
12:11 pm
March 23, 2021

On March 17, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will use $10 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act for COVID-19 screening testing to help schools reopen. According to HHS, Washington will receive $229.4 million for this purpose. This is the first announcement of how billions of dollars in funding for public health in the ARP Act will be allocated.

Additionally, on Friday, the Senate Ways & Means (W&M) Committee heard from the Office of Financial Management (OFM) about the federal funding for Washington in the ARP Act. According to OFM, the state of Washington will get $10.64 billion. (The estimate was as of March 16, so it does not include any allocations for vaccines and testing. It also does not include the local fiscal recovery fund.) As OFM notes in its presentation, some of this funding will be directly administered by the state, and some will be allocated via formula “with minimal or no state intervention.”

With the new testing money and some additional items included in OFM’s presentation, I estimate that federal ARP Act money flowing through Washington’s state and local governments will be $12.211 billion. (This is still an incomplete estimate, as not all allocations are known yet.)

At the W&M meeting, OFM said that it’s not clear yet how much of this funding will affect the budget this year and how much might be spent in future years.

The Senate W&M Chair will release her operating budget proposal on Thursday at 1 pm, with a hearing scheduled for Friday at 1 pm. Sen. Rolfes said, “It’ll be a budget like nothing you’ve ever seen because there’s a lot of unknowns.”

Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Chair is expected to release his operating budget proposal Friday at 3 pm, with a hearing Saturday at 9 am.

(Click on the table for a spreadsheet with the data and more details.)
Categories: Budget , Categories.
Tags: ARP Act , COVID-19