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Northam Announces First Proposal for ARPA Funds

Facebook / Governor Ralph Northam

Governor Ralph Northam announced Monday that he wanted $353 million in American Rescue Plan funding to go towards small business recovery, in the first look into the budget proposal that will set the debate over how billions will be spent.

$4.3 billion dollars in federal money from the ARP up for grabs when the General Assembly meets in August. Legislators have been describing the billions in federal aid as a once in a lifetime opportunity. But it's still not enough to give all the state agencies what they want. When the special session rolls around dozens of legislators will weigh in on what they want.

State agencies have already put in their wishlists. For example the Secretary of Commerce and Trade requested $50 million for the Virginia Tourism Corporation and $53 million for two small business programs: the Industrial Revitalization Fund and Virginia Main Street program.

Northam’s proposal matches the Secretary of Commerce and Trade’s request, but was less for another program.

Northam is asking the General Assembly to Rebuild VA $250 million, compared to $355 million in the secretary’s wish list.

“We've been clear about our priorities for this money: supporting public health, upgrading public schools, deploying universal broadband access, and helping our small businesses and our workers,” Northam said. “Today, we are proposing that we use $353 million of those federal funds to help our small businesses and our small towns.”

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Jahd Khalil is a reporter and producer in Richmond.
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