The U.S. Treasury has just given the green light for the government of Guam to apply for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, Congressman Michael San Nicolas announced in a news conference.
Starting today, San Nicolas said the government of Guam may request coronavirus state and local fiscal recovery funds through the U.S. Treasury Submission Portal.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 established the coronavirus state, and local fiscal recovery funds, designed to deliver $350 billion to state, local, territorial and tribal governments to bolster their response to the COVID-19 emergency and its economic impacts.
According to San Nicolas, a total of $4.5 billion was allotted specifically for territories, with $553 million of that going to Guam.
The coronavirus state and local fiscal recovery funds will provide eligible state, local, territorial and tribal governments with an infusion of resources to meet pandemic response needs and build a stronger, more equitable economy as the country recovers.
San Nicolas said these funds will be able to support public health expenditures, address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, replace lost public sector revenue, provide premium pay for essential workers, and invest in water sewer and broadband infrastructure.
“Today, the U.S. Treasury is launching this much-needed relief to continue to decrease the spread of the virus, bring the pandemic under control, replace lost public sector revenue, and strengthen support for vital public services, and help retain jobs,” San Nicolas said.
He added: “The announcement by the Treasury on the amounts made available through the American Rescue Plan that the government of Guam is going to be able to begin applying for and tapping into is what we’ve all been waiting for.”
Speaker Therese Terlaje, who has just submitted the Legislature’s list of priorities for ARP funding and who was also present during the news conference, thanked San Nicolas for his work and “tremendous” collaboration.
“We all want to make sure that the money is spent for the benefit of the people of Guam and I’m pretty happy that we’re going to be able to spend a lot of this money in those areas that we’ve outlined because we do believe these are priorities,” Terlaje said.