Valley cities are primed to get a big budget boost from the American Rescue Plan, which President Joe Biden signed into law on March 11.
Phoenix will receive about $416 million from the act, according to Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s office. The Phoenix general fund is about $1.4 billion, so the new, one-time money will total more than a quarter of the city’s general fund. Maricopa County, which had an approved 2021 fiscal year budget of about $3.1 billion, will receive nearly $870 million from the federal government in the act.
“Throughout the pandemic, I’ve worked directly with local leaders across Arizona to ensure they receive the support and resources needed to keep our communities safe,” Sinema said in a statement. “Thanks to bipartisan negotiations and close collaboration with Arizona mayors and county leaders, we secured direct coronavirus relief for our cities, towns, counties and tribal communities to save jobs and prevent cuts to local first responders and essential services.”
In total, $2.6 billion will go to Arizona cities, towns, counties and tribal communities from the plan. The money goes to the local entities, which can then decide how best to use it.
The money must be used on Covid-related health and economic recovery issues and not on unrelated projects or backfilling budgets, according to Sinema's office. Arizona fire, sewage, water, power public utilities, flood control and public health special districts are also eligible to receive coronavirus relief from the legislation.