Governor signs bill to allocate state’s portion of ARPA spending

Yesterday, Gov. Ricketts chose against using his line-item veto power and signed LB 1014, which officially allocates the over $1 billion the state will receive in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). While much of the funding fails to target struggling Nebraskans, the some provisions will attempt to fulfill the original intent of ARPA to provide direct relief and support to counter effects of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • $20 million for food assistance, with most of that going to food banks for the purchase and distribution of food to those experiencing food insecurity.

  • $8 million for a grant program to nonprofits to develop affordable housing for immigrants and refugees and provide job training and placement.

  • $250 million for economic recovery across the state, much of it reserved for grants to public and private entities for recovery projects in low income census tracts and for the development of affordable housing.

  • $20 million for low income housing tax credits for the development of low income rental housing across the state.

  • $10 million for workforce housing in rural areas.

  • $10 million for worker training programs administered by the Department of Labor.

  • Funding for reimbursement rate increases for healthcare providers in several industries, including developmental and behavioral disability support services.

  • $4 million for the Department of Health and Human Services to increase childcare capacity across the state.

  • $1 million for the Department of Health and Human Services for support services for youth aging out of foster care.

Some of the $250 million reserved for economic relief for businesses and nonprofits will be partially allocated through grants decided by a legislative committee to be formed at a later date (as outlined in Sen. Wayne’s LB1024). Stay tuned for ways to advocate to ensure that funding goes to nonprofits that provide needed services and support to low-income Nebraskans.