New Jersey more reliant than neighbors on American Rescue Plan dollars, study shows

(The Center Square) – New Jersey’s share of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds represents a higher percentage of its annual spending than its neighboring states, but it lags behind several more sparsely populated ones.

According to the study by PEW Trusts, the more than $6.2 billion the federal government sent New Jersey represents 9.2% of its total spending in fiscal 2020. That outpaces nearby Connecticut (8.3%), Pennsylvania (7.9%), Delaware (7.8%) and New York (7.4%).

The money that less populous states received represents a higher percentage of their fiscal 2020 spending. Wyoming (22.7%), South Dakota (20.1%), Nevada (17.2%), Vermont (17%) and North Dakota (14.5%) topped the list.

In total, ARP allocates $193.5 billion to state governments, and amounts are, in part, based on state unemployment numbers at the end of 2020. States, which must obligate the funds by the end of 2024, may use the money for initiatives ranging from averting cuts to government-funded programs to infrastructure investments, including broadband and sewer.

New Jersey has used a portion of its ARP dollars to support child care in the state and for a one-year extension of public education and related services for students with disabilities.

PEW used New Jersey’s $67.8 billion in total state spending for fiscal 2020 from the National Association of State Budget Officers in its calculation. The feds are also allocating money to local governments.

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