|Nearly three months after President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, Americans all across the country are continuing to feel its positive impact — no thanks to every single Republican in Congress who opposed the historic relief package. According to a new study, the Rescue Plan’s stimulus checks “significantly improved Americans’ ability to buy food and pay household bills and reduced anxiety and depression, with the largest benefits going to the poorest households and those with children.” From getting young people working in Milwaukee to reopening schools in Pennsylvania, keep reading to learn more on how aid from the American Rescue Plan continues to be a game-changer for communities hit hardest by the pandemic.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: City allocates $3.8 million in federal funds to Employ Milwaukee to get young people working this summer
By Ricardo Torres
“A year ago, summer job opportunities were scant because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, city and county officials are trying to make sure every young person who wants a job can get a job.
“On Monday, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said the city is putting $3.8 million it received from the federal government to allow Employ Milwaukee to extend its application process to the Earn and Learn program.”
NBC Madison (WEAU): WIC participants now able to buy more fruits and vegetables
By Heather Poltrock
“Starting June 1 until Sept. 30, Wisconsin families participating in the supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children will be able to purchase more fruits and vegetables due to a temporary increase in federal funding.
“The federal American Rescue Plan Act will fund the increase in monthly WIC benefits.”
MLive: Saginaw County schools receive $1.2 million federal grant for Head Start programs
By Riley Murdock
“U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) announced a new federal grant Thursday, May 27 that will provide more than $1.2 million to child care and early childhood education in Saginaw County, according to a news release from Kildee’s office.
“The $1,214,448 grant to the Saginaw Intermediate School District comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Head Start Emergency Supplemental initiative using funding from H.R. 1319, or The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Head Start programs aim to promote education, health and well-being for young children through local public and private entities, according to the release.”
MLive: Gov. Whitmer visits Bay City Central, announces funding plan to transform K-12 education throughout the state
“Whitmer stopped at Bay City Central High School on Bay City’s East Side to announce her plan publicly on Thursday, May 27. The plan stems from a projected $3.5 billion surplus, said Whitmer, a drastic change she explained from a nearly $3 billion deficit from the prior year. The plan aims to use part of the surplus to garner over $1.7 billion in one-time funding and allocate over $900 million for ongoing investments.
“‘That’s a phenomenal swing in our ability to meet the needs of people right and to re-engage our economy. It’s exciting,’ said Whitmer. ‘It’s thanks in large part to the money that came into Michigan from the last administration at the end with the incredible American Rescue Plan that Congressman Kildee and his democratic colleagues in our congressional delegation and the Biden White House made available, so the American Rescue Plan dollars are a big part of why our fortunes have changed so much.’”
Across Pennsylvania Patch: Rescue Plan’s Funds Can Help Students Catch Up
By Andrea Sears
“HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania schools will have some major federal help as they reopen their doors, and teachers want districts to use those dollars to focus on helping students catch up.
“Over the next few years, schools in the Keystone State will have nearly $5 billion of federal aid from the American Rescue Plan to address disruptions to education caused by the pandemic. At least $1 billion is specifically targeted at intensifying support for students who need extra help to get back on track.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Health insurance is on sale at a steep discount thanks to the latest COVID-19 relief law
By Harold Brubaker
“The federal government is running a big sale on health insurance.
“The American Rescue Plan Act, the latest effort out of Washington to lift the economy out of the COVID-19 doldrums, boosted subsidies, making it cheaper for more people to buy plans on Affordable Care Act insurance marketplaces.”
Augusta Chronicle: Plan calls for Augusta to build, operate homeless shelter using American Rescue Plan funds
By Susan McCord
“Plans are in the works but details not finalized for Augusta to build, repurpose or acquire and operate a homeless shelter using American Rescue Plan funds. […]
“The project is an example of Augusta Housing and Community Development finding a ‘highest and best use’ for rescue plan funds, department Director Hawthorne Welcher said. Governments have been encouraged to think big and generation-altering in their proposals for spending the funds.”
In North Carolina:
Charlotte Observer: $2 million for emergency housing vouchers headed to Charlotte from stimulus bill
By Lauren Lindstrom
“Inlivian, Charlotte’s housing authority, is getting a little more than $2 million for emergency housing vouchers through the American Rescue Plan.
“The funds will pay for 178 vouchers for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and those leaving domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking or other unsafe situations.
“‘This award comes at a critical time when the need for affordable housing could not be greater,’ Inlivian CEO A. Fulton Meachem Jr. said in a statement Wednesday.”
The Gazette: El Paso County lays out spending plans for $70 million in federal relief
By Breeanna Jent
“El Paso County plans to allocate $20 million — or 29% of the nearly $70 million it recently received — to aid economic and workforce development, she said. This includes funding another round of grants to businesses to help them financially recover from pandemic-related closures, and provide job training and placement support; supporting local tourism and chambers of commerce; and retraining workers in industries severely impacted by the pandemic.
“‘We’re going to be able to go out and help workers get trained and then be able to be employed, and get our economy back to pre-pandemic unemployment numbers,’ Simmons said. ‘That’s our goal.’”