American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Investment Priorities

The Massachusetts State House  is the state capitol and seat of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Investment Priorities

Latest Updates

Action Alert!

Use this form to write to your state legislators: let them know that it's essential to include SAPHE 2.0 language strengthening our local and regional public health infrastructure, as well as the full $250.9 million to fund it, in the final ARPA spending bill.


On November 13, 2021, the Metro Mayors Coalition sent a letter in support of local public health investments and reforms in the ARPA spending bills. Read it here.


Also on November 13, MAPC released a statement in support of the same local public health investments and reforms. Read it here.

The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law in March 2021, provides Massachusetts with about $8.7 billion in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds: $5.3 billion to the state government and about $3.4 billion directly to municipalities.  

This is a transformative amount of money, and it should be spent thoughtfully, but it’s important that it’s spent in a timely fashion that reflects the urgency of the public health and economic crisis brought on by the pandemic.  

Access to stable housing, reliable transportation, and gainful employment vary sharply across the Commonwealth and especially across racial lines. The COVID pandemic has put a spotlight on the breadth and depth of these inequities. We now face the question of whether recovery will be similarly unequal across race and income, or whether we can use this recovery to create a more equitable society.  

MAPC has been deeply engaged with our cities and towns’ COVID-19 response. As we advocate for an equitable recovery, MAPC encourages the state and our municipalities to spend ARPA dollars thoughtfully and expeditiously, in ways that address structural inequity, align with existing goals, strengthen existing programs, and pilot innovative ideas.  

If your community has questions about ARPA dollars, or would like to talk through different investment ideas, please contact MAPC Director of Government Affairs Lizzi Weyant at eweyant@mapc.org.

State
Investments

MAPC is providing support, guidance, and examples to the Legislature as elected officials decide how to spend ARPA dollars.

March 2021: Priorities for an Equitable and Resilient Economic Recovery

MAPC’s framework for economic recovery guides our priorities for ARPA expenditures. Three key themes: 

  • Improve and Expand Workforce Development and Small Business Support 
  • Align Economic Recovery with our Climate, Housing, and Transportation Goals 
  • Improve Connectivity and Access and Build both Digital and Public Health Infrastructure 

October 2021: Priorities for ARPA Expenditures

As the Legislature considers how best to spend the state’s portion of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, MAPC outlines principles and priorities for investing in public health, climate-smart housing, economic and workforce development, and infrastructure.

Updated November 2021.

October 2021: Statement on ARPA Bill

On Tuesday, October 26, MAPC released a statement in response to H.4219, "An Act relative to immediate COVID-19 recovery and needs."

November 2021: Statement on Municipal Public Health in ARPA Bill

On Saturday, November 13, MAPC released a statement on municipal public health funding and policy reform in the Legislature's ARPA spending bills.

November 2021: Action on Municipal Public Health in ARPA Bill

On Monday, November 15, MAPC issued an action alert, asking people to write to their legislators to support local and regional public health in the ARPA spending bill. Use our simple tool to send a pre-written letter, or write your own.

Testimony Letters

MAPC staff members regularly testify at ARPA-related hearings and MAPC submits testimony on behalf of regional and statewide organizations. Testimony on ARPA includes: 

  • July 28, 2021: Labor, Workforce Development, and Housing ARPA Expenditures (MAPC)
    Download Letter
  • September 23, 2021: Investing ARPA Funds for Local and Regional Public Health (MAPC)
    Download Letter
  • October 1, 2021: ARPA Expenditure Priorities from the State's Regional Planning Agencies (MARPA)
    Download Letter
  • November 13, 2021: Local Public Health Investments and Reforms in the ARPA Bill (Metro Mayors Coalition)
    Download Letter

Municipal
Investments

Massachusetts cities and towns have received $3.4 billion dollars through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.

These dollars present an opportunity to make critical investments in communities and especially those that were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. This federal funding can help set the stage for an equitable and resilient recovery. 

 

Webinar: How Municipalities Can Make Meaningful Investments with ARPA Dollars

In this September 15, 2021 webinar, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation's Doug Howgate and MAPC's Lizzi Weyant discuss how cities and towns can make strategic investments for a more prosperous and equitable region.

Resources from the Executive Office for Administration and Finance

The Executive Office for Administration and Finance compiled this eligibility reference sheet and this resources memorandum to help local governments deploy ARPA funds. 

EDA Programs

The Economic Development Administration received $3 billion in supplemental funding to assist communities in their economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. EDA is making funding available through six innovative "challenges." 

This investment is to support bottom up economic development focused on advancing equity creating good paying jobs helping workers to develop in demand skills building economic resilience and accelerating the economic recovery for the industries and communities hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. 

EDA ARPA Challenges

Application deadlines: 

  • Build Back Better: October 19, 2021 (Phase I) 
  • Statewide Planning, Research, and Networks: October 31, 2021
  • Good Jobs: January 26, 2022 
  • Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation: Jan. 31, 2022 encouraged  
  • Economic Adjustment Assistance Program: March 31, 2022 encouraged  

Webinar: EDA ARPA Programs and Funding

Application deadlines: 

  • Build Back Better: October 19, 2021 (Phase I) 
  • Statewide Planning, Research, and Networks: October 31, 2021
  • Good Jobs: January 26, 2022 
  • Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation: Jan. 31, 2022 encouraged  
  • Economic Adjustment Assistance Program: March 31, 2022 encouraged  

Resources: