How Localities Are Using ARPA Funds for IT Modernization

Federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act will continue to flow through counties and cities in the years ahead for long-term upgrades.

More than a year after President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law, localities across the country are leveraging the $350 billion the relief package set aside for state and local governments to invest in a wide range of technology-related improvements.

The law gives states, counties, cities and tribal governments fairly wide latitude in determining how to use the funds. States are collecting roughly $195 billion, metropolitan areas are receiving $45 billion; and counties and other government departments are getting the rest.

In addition to plugging budget holes and making reimbursement payments, the law says the funds can be allocated for government services.

In February, the National League of Cities and National Association of Counties, together with the Brookings Institution’s Brookings Metro program, launched an interactive dashboard that tracks how 152 different municipalities are using ARPA funds. From a technology perspective, those projects range from broadband enhancements to cybersecurity investments and funding for tools to support remote work for government employees. . Governments have until the end of 2024 to allocate the funds.

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