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.

States Have Yet to Spend Hundreds of Millions of Federal Dollars to Tackle Covid Health Disparities

A year ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded states and local health departments $2.25 billion to help people of color and other populations at higher risk from Covid. But a KHN review shows public health agencies across the country have been slow to spend it.

How to Recruit and Manage Short-term Workers

State and local governments have greater reliance on temporary staff, but challenges abound. There are new ways to make these arrangements work.

How a Small City Pushed Ahead with its Downtown Revival, Despite the Pandemic

Lorain, Ohio Mayor Jack Bradley describes how he worked to keep momentum going during the past two years with a downtown “renaissance.”

Sharp Rise in Abuse Targeting Mayors Highlighted by New Study

The findings show female mayors of color were especially likely to face threats.

Covid Woes Prompt More States to Require Financial Literacy Classes

The pandemic has underscored how few Americans are prepared for financial emergencies.

Small Towns Drew Most New Pandemic Residents

Major cities lost people to more remote, lesser-known areas.

Residents Left Behind as Pandemic Hurts Bus Companies

Publicly funded bus services in rural communities fared better, but “in a lot of major urban areas, commuters aren’t coming back.”

Why Pandemic Food and Medicaid Benefits Could Soon an End

The federal government is again extending a health emergency keeping the extra aid in place, but this could be the last time.

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