The massive $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that President Biden signed into law on Thursday afternoon includes hundreds of billions in funding for state and local governments, with New York, Texas and California poised to receive more than one-quarter of the total aid.
The American Rescue Plan includes $350 billion in unfettered aid for state and local governments, with $195.3 billion directed toward state governments and Washington, and $130.2 billion allocated for local governments. An additional $20 billion would be given to federally recognized tribal governments, while $4.5 billion would go to U.S. territories.
More money will be given to states that had a higher number of unemployed citizens at the end of 2020 rather than the overall population, which has irked some states in the south and midwest, which tend to have Republican governors and better jobless rates. While many Democrat-led states implemented strict lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus, some of their GOP counterparts adopted a more laissez-faire approach, allowing businesses to remain open for a better part of the pandemic.
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For instance, California, the most populous state, will receive the most money, $42.3 billion – including $26.2 billion for its state government and $14.6 billion across local governments. The second most populous state, Texas, will receive the second-highest amount, $27.3 billion, in funding, according to figures published by the House Oversight Committee.
But New York would receive the third-highest amount at $23.5 billion, even though Florida is the third-largest state by population, according to U.S. Census Bureau 2020 estimates. Florida would receive $17.3 billion, the fourth-highest amount among states.
House Republicans slammed Democrats for using unemployment to calculate the aid distribution levels, rather than population. They noted that Florida, which is led by a Republican governor, would receive $1.2 billion less than it would if population size were the main criteria. Georgia, another GOP-led state, would collect $1.3 billion less under the formula. Still, it’s not just Republican states that would receive less money: Democrat-led Virginia would also receive about 14% less under the current formula.
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Funding for state and local governments emerged as one of the most contentious issues in relief negotiations last year and remains fiercely debated: Republicans have disparaged it as a “blue-state bailout,” while Democrats have argued the money is needed to avoid potentially devastating service cutbacks or layoffs, since local governments can’t run deficits in the same capacity as the federal government.
While some state and local budgets took a financial hit due to the pandemic-induced recession, the majority of states actually ended up collecting nearly as much revenue in 2020 as they did the previous year, according to a JPMorgan survey published at the end of January. State revenue in 2020 was “virtually flat” when compared with 2019, declining just 0.12%, according to the data, which is based on the 47 states that report monthly tax revenue.
In fact, the analysis shows that 21 states saw positive revenue growth compared with last year.
Federal stimulus money — particularly the $600 a week unemployment supplement — played a vital role in keeping states’ revenues afloat and avoiding a replay of the 2008 financial crisis, when state revenues experienced a record drop and took years to recover, exacerbating the lingering effects of the downturn.
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Here’s a closer look at how much money each state will receive from the relief bill:
Alabama: $4.04 billionAlaska: $1.36 billionArizona: $7.63 billionArkansas: $2.81 billionCalifornia: $42.63 billionColorado: $6.07 billionConnecticut: $4.35 billionDelaware: $1.36 billionDistrict of Columbia: $1.62 billionFlorida: $17.62 billionGeorgia: $8.40 billionHawaii: $2.27 billionIdaho: $1.89 billionIllinois: $13.71 billionIndiana: $5.86 billionIowa: $2.69 billionKansas: $2.72 billionKentucky: $4.24 billionLouisiana: $5.19 billionMaine: $1.65 billionMaryland: $6.36 billionMassachusetts: $8.10 billionMichigan: $10.31 billionMinnesota: $4.88 billionMississippi: $2.90 billionMissouri: $5.48 billionMontana: $1.37 billionNebraska: $1.77 billionNevada: $4.12 billionNew Hampshire: $1.54 billionNew Jersey: $10.19 billionNew Mexico: $2.46 billionNew York: $23.80 billionNorth Carolina: $8.94 billionNorth Dakota: $1.36 billionOhio: $11.24 billionOklahoma: $3.65 billionOregon: $4.26 billionPennsylvania: $13.72 billionRhode Island: $1.78 billionSouth Carolina: $3.87 billionSouth Dakota: $1.37 billionTennessee: $6.31 billionTexas: $27.62 billionUtah: $2.74 billionVermont: $1.36 billionVirginia: $6.88 billionWashington: $7.10 billionWest Virginia: $2.06 billionWisconsin: $5.71 billionWyoming: $1.36 billion