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Wyoming to receive ~$1.1B under American Rescue Plan; governor announces priorities for use of the funds

Wyomings Governor Mark Gordon (YouTube, Wyoming PBS)

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s office said on Thurday, April 8 that Wyoming is expected to see an estimated $1.1 billion in federal funding support under the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

“In addition, millions of other dollars will be distributed to citizens via tax rebates, and to local governments and other entities directly from the federal government,” Gordon’s office said.

The governor has tasked a “diverse group of stakeholders” to develop a plan on how to use the federal relief dollars.

“Wyoming will survive the impacts of COVID, drive through our period of recovery and set up the conditions for us to thrive in the long-term,” Gordon said in the release. “It is imperative to emphasize long-term benefits because this funding has increased the debt for future generations.”

Gordon noted that the plan will require collaboration between the executive branch and the legislature, who will convene a special session in July to work on how to utilize the funding.

“I am committed to working with the Legislature to ensure that we use the funds effectively and responsibly, and that we seek to develop big ideas that will have significant and long-lasting impacts” Gordon said. “Wyoming won’t see these funds for some time, allowing us to develop a plan to ensure these dollars benefit citizens for years to come.”

The state is still waiting on federal guidance on the use of the funds which is expected to be issued in May. Unlike the federal CARES Act dollars, “Wyoming will have nearly four years to spend the funds,” Gordon’s office said.

“The Governor wants to have a plan for managing the virus response and to focus on three areas to identify the most significant problems Wyoming is facing due to this pandemic and also to address the highest priorities,” his office said.

Those priority areas are:

  • 1) Health and Social Services
  • 2) Education and Workforce
  • 3) Economic Diversity and Economic Development

“Each focus area will be led by a member of the Executive branch in collaboration with the Governor’s office,” the release adds. “Governor Gordon stressed the importance of using these one-time funds for one-time expenses.”