Local Governments Still Counting on Pandemic Aid Despite Clawback Threat

Officials continue to deal with food insecurity, rising housing costs and learning gaps as House Republicans consider whether to recall American Rescue Plan Act funds in the Treasury Department's coffers.

Congress and Watchdogs Scrutinize Covid Aid Lost to Fraud

Federal officials are still going after fraudsters who siphoned billions from emergency Covid-era programs, while also trying to prevent similar malfeasance in the future. State-managed unemployment programs are one area getting heavy attention.

How the Debt Ceiling Debate Puts State and Local Dollars at Risk

With a battle over federal spending brewing between Republicans and Democrats in Washington, counties and low-income housing advocates are warning of potentially damaging cuts.

The D.C. Mayor Wants ‘Decisive Action’ on the Federal Government’s Return to Office Plans

There has been movement to get some employees back in person and assess real estate needs, but the mayor would like more specifics.  

Florida Prosecutors Reach Deal With Former State Worker Charged With Computer Crime

Rebekah Jones drew national headlines when she said Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration manipulated Covid data, an allegation that remains unsubstantiated. She was later charged with illegally accessing a state computer system.

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Thousands of Experts Hired to Aid Public Health Departments Are Losing Their Jobs

As the Covid-19 pandemic raged, an independent nonprofit tied to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hired an army of seasoned professionals to fill the gaps in the country’s public health system. Now, the money has largely run out, and state and local health departments are again without their expertise.

The States That Still Owe Billions in Federal Unemployment Loans

They took on the debt after Covid hit. If they don’t repay it soon, it will mean tax hikes for businesses. Republicans are knocking Democratic governors who’ve let the balances linger.

Deciding How to Use $41B in Remaining State ARPA Aid

States have already chosen where to spend the bulk of $195 billion in pandemic funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. A think tank is weighing in on what to do with the money that’s left.

The Evolving Debate Over ARPA's State and Local Aid Program

President Biden's top advisor on the American Rescue Plan Act dismisses Republican claims that money from the law is being wasted. But he's also urging local government leaders to look for more ways to highlight their successes with the federal funding.

Two Cities Took Different Approaches to Pandemic Court Closures. They Got Different Results

Did closing courts contribute to the resurgence in violent crime that began in 2020? What happened in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Wichita, Kansas, may provide clues.

The Simmering GOP Criticism of State and Local ARPA Spending

Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate have been bashing projects paid for with American Rescue Plan Act dollars that they see as wasteful. It could be a sign of further scrutiny to come if they take back one or both chambers of Congress.

Covid Aid Program Gave 'Shuttered Venues' Funds They Didn't Ask For

Poor oversight riddled the emergency initiative, leading to $1.5 billion in questioned awards.

How Cities and States are Gathering Data as They Spend Federal Aid

A watchdog agency responsible for monitoring the historic infusion of pandemic relief dollars is promoting data collection to encourage transparency and uncover fraud and abuse.

Why People Are Moving Away From Big Urban Counties

New research suggests that housing costs and remote work are fueling a lasting shift in where people are choosing to live.

House Republicans Attack ARPA as ‘Boondoggle.’ Mayor, Democrats Say it Prevented Layoffs, Saved Lives

The clash is the latest instance of GOP lawmakers assailing pandemic relief spending under the American Rescue Plan Act.

New Program to Bolster the Battered Public Health Workforce

Two agencies are teaming up to establish a program to recruit and cultivate public health officials. “We saw throughout the Covid pandemic that there was a real need to support local communities,” one official says.

States With the Highest and Lowest Rainy Day Funds

Wyoming leads the nation in the operating days in its fund, while Washington has a negative balance.

The White House Chronicles Equity Efforts in the American Rescue Plan

The purpose is not to say, “mission accomplished,” but to continue sharing information and hearing what isn’t working, a senior White House official says.

As Remote Work Persists, Cities Struggle to Adapt

The shift to remote work will prompt cities to focus on broadband access and remote shared workspaces, as they contend for workers who can live anywhere.

Public Health Workers Still Fighting the Pandemic, Even as Policy Makers Move On

"It's not over," warns Dr. Georges Benjamin of the American Public Health Association in an interview with Route Fifty.