Four ways the American Rescue Plan can support working people
Posted July 01, 2021 in Press Releases
Local governments can drive equitable recovery
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) signed by President Biden in March allocates $33 billion to states and cities across the country to rebuild after the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic and recession. A new report from Policy Matters Ohio provides Ohio’s local governments with guidance about how they should spend the $5.3 billion in flexible federal Fiscal Recovery Funds they will receive under ARP.
In total, Ohio will receive nearly $10.7 billion in ARP funds including $2.18 billion to larger “metro cities,” $844 million in state pass-through dollars to small cities and villages, and $2.27 billion to counties. Appalachian counties will receive $386 million directly, and the region will receive additional funds to cities allocated through the state of Ohio. Money for state and local governments is intended to help those most harmed by the pandemic and recession.
“Government works best when it works for all people, not just the wealthy few and corporations,” said report author and Policy Matters Researcher Michael Shields. “The American Rescue Plan is a historic opportunity to dismantle longstanding racial and economic barriers that the pandemic exposed and worsened.”
The report identifies four ways local governments can use their funds to maximize benefits to working people:
- Provide bonus or hazard pay to essential workers.
- Mandate businesses receiving ARP dollars comply with labor laws.
- Fund workplace rights enforcement and create a fund to provide working people with workplace rights education and legal services.
- Mandate Community Benefit Agreements for infrastructure projects that require employers pay good wages and respect workers’ right to join a union.
“The American Rescue Plan provides Ohio communities with an opportunity to lift up those most harmed by COVID-19, and drive equitable growth for a recovery that includes everyone,” Shields said. “Centering working people in their ARP spending will help Ohio communities to right longstanding injustices and help Ohioans to emerge from this crisis stronger than before.”