(Cheyenne, WY) – Governor Mark Gordon released his proposals for the use of the first round of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. In a letter to the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee, the Governor recommends dedicating just under $500 million in funds to a range of programs and investments. Wyoming will receive more than $1 billion directly from ARPA. The Governor recommended the additional funds be set aside for savings or utilized for future ideas.
The Governor noted that nearly $4 billion in requests were brought forward for consideration, and that he supported funding some proposals through other sources, including the recently passed federal Infrastructure bill. Wyoming received $534 million of the $1.68 billion in ARPA funding in May and is set to receive a second payment of the same amount in 2022.
“This winnowing of proposals was not done casually, but thoughtfully in accordance with the principles outlined at the start of this endeavor to preserve opportunity and foster long-term resilience,” Governor Gordon wrote. “In many cases we reduced the initial request to an amount that could be used as a preliminary investment, as I believe it prudent to analyze the effectiveness of a program or proposal before committing additional dollars.”
The Governor proposed investments across 10 Goal Areas identified by his Strike Team. The proposal includes $207 million deployed using general fund revenue replacement-eligible dollars and $279 million in ARPA Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CSLFRF), which must be spent consistent with federal law and guidance from the U.S. Treasury. In addition, the Governor recommends placing $100 million in the Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account (LSRA) to utilize as matching funds for a wide range of energy-related projects.
Included in the Governor’s proposal are:
- $100 million be placed in the Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account (LSRA) earmarked to match private sector or federal funds for large-scale energy projects, including carbon capture on a coal-fired power plant, a hydrogen hub, carbon sequestration, and nuclear power projects.)
- $55 million for the next phases of the Wyoming Innovation Partnership to help expand the state’s workforce and economy.
- $75 million to the Wyoming Wildlife Trust Fund, which would fully fund the Trust and save general funds in future years.
- $50 million for local government support projects
- $40 million for grants to enhance outdoor recreation in Wyoming and to help communities pursue construction of new outdoor recreation products and infrastructure
- $30 million to economic development efforts to support mining, agriculture and entrepreneurship.
- $10 million for the Cultural Trust Fund to promote arts and historic preservation in Wyoming.
- $10 million to match federal funds for wildlife/highway crossing projects.
- $10 million to expand Health and Human Services Staffing Stabilization efforts to include providers caring for vulnerable and at-risk populations
Governor Gordon welcomes feedback on the proposals, both from the legislature and the public. Comments on the proposals are continuing to be accepted through forms available on the Governor’s Drive and Thrive website.
The Governor’s letter, including a complete list of the proposals and the amounts, is attached and can be found here.