CHEYENNE – Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has identified the areas on which he will focus to administer federal dollars awarded to the state through the American Rescue Plan Act.
Wyoming recently received the first half of the state’s allocation, and Gordon plans to strategically utilize the roughly $1 billion in federal funds to address the immediate and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gordon’s areas of focus are: health and social services; education and workforce; and economic diversity and economic development. The governor and his team are working to identify both short- and long-term priorities within each area of focus.
A preliminary planning framework will be released in June. The process will include developing proposals for initiatives or new programs for consideration by the Wyoming Legislature. Unlike previously received federal relief funds, the funds provided to the state by the ARP do not need to be immediately spent. The state has more than three years to spend these funds.
“We are going to be laser-focused on addressing Wyoming’s short- and long-term recovery, and on getting people back to work,” Gordon said in a statement. “I want to ensure we use these dollars to thrive in the long term, because this federal spending is increasing debt on our children and the generations to come. We must not squander this opportunity to invest wisely in our state’s future.”
Counties and municipalities, as well as tribal governments, will also receive separate funding through the federal package.
Furthermore, the American Rescue Plan provides additional funding to schools and higher education, child care stabilization and assistance, behavioral health clinics, community health centers and other entities. For example, Wyoming will receive $360 million for education and $9 million for community health centers.