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Governor McKee Provides Update on Deployment of State Fiscal Recovery Funds

RHODE ISLAND, August 24 - PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee today announced that the State has deployed more than $350 million in pandemic-relief State Fiscal Recovery Funds (SFRF) through June 2023. The funds have gone to develop affordable housing, support small businesses and impacted industries, retain workers in the childcare sector, and provide better access to medical services for children and families, among other objectives.

"These federal dollars have been a vital lifeline to businesses and families across our state," said Governor Dan McKee. "We thank our Congressional Delegation for securing these dollars and our partners in the General Assembly who have worked with us to make key short and long term investments in Rhode Island's economy and our state's future."

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of March 2021 provided Rhode Island $1.13 billion in SFRF. Under the Act, states have until December 31, 2026 to spend all dollars. Governor McKee prioritized these funds on a collection of near-term investments to offset the pandemic's negative impacts and longer-term investments to transform and modernize key elements of the economy to ensure the state is well-positioned to continue its strong recovery.

Highlights on how these funds have been dispersed through June 2023 include:

$23.4 million in direct grants and in-kind support to more than 2,900 Rhode Island businesses. $20 million distributed in partnership with the Rhode Island Foundation to 240 nonprofits. $19.8 million in retention bonuses to approximately 5,700 childcare workers. $16.8 million that is helping create 62 affordable housing units, with additional funds obligated to result in 2,880 units across 63 projects. $11.3 million to support more than 40 pediatric practices that care for at-risk children and $9.5 million in payments to the State's nine Early Intervention providers. $10.4 million in down payment assistance to help approximately 600 eligible households purchase a home. $45 million in operating support to 12 hospitals and $30 million to 75 nursing homes. $9.1 million in job training assistance to more than 5,000 unemployed and underemployed workers. $100 million deposited in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to mitigate future unemployment taxes for Rhode Island businesses.

The Pandemic Recovery Office (PRO) within the Department of Administration (DOA) is responsible for ensuring that all fund uses comply with federal requirements and reporting financial and key performance indicator information to the U.S. Department of Treasury. PRO collaborates with state agencies, quasi-public agencies, municipalities, and other entities that are executing SFRF projects to satisfy the reporting and compliance requirements.

"Providing appropriate oversight of SFRF projects is a critical role," said Paul L. Dion, Ph.D., Director of the Pandemic Recovery Office. "The team at PRO has combined the need for agencies to begin implementing their projects as soon as possible with a thoroughness of review to ensure project compliance with federal and state laws, rules, and regulations. The fact that the State has been able to deploy these funds so quickly is due in no small part to the hard work of PRO staff."

Governor McKee's Administration understands the public interest in not only how SFRF dollars are being spent but also the impact of this funding on Rhode Island families, businesses, and nonprofits. To provide transparency into the use of these funds, PRO updates its website every month with the latest spend data for each project and posts reports to the Legislature and the U.S. Department of Treasury that include actual key performance indicator data.

This project was supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRFP0136 awarded to the State of Rhode Island by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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