Overview of the The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Final Rule
- The American Rescue Plan Act became law in March 2021 and provides $350 billion to state, local, and tribal governments.
- The purpose of the ARPA funding is to support the response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and to aid in recovery.
- In May 2021 the U.S. Department of Treasury published the interim final rule describing eligible and ineligible uses of funds and began to distribute funds. The Treasury sought feedback from the public on the program rules and comments received were given thoughtful consideration.
- On Jan. 6, 2022 the final rule was issued providing broader flexibility and greater simplicity in the program; the final rule will replace the existing interim final rule on April 1, 2022.
Get a quick summary and more details on the ARPA Final Rule in the video and infographic on this page, and get additional information on the ARPA FAQ web page.
Video: A quick summary of the ARPA Final Rule
Infographic: Additional details on the ARPA Final Rule
Text from the infographic of additional final rule highlights
Below, please find 5 questions and answers about the Final Rule …
1. Do we follow the Interim Final Rule or Final Rule?
Provisions of the interim final rule may be applied until the provisions of the final rule are effective on April 1, 2022. Until the final rule becomes effective on April 1, 2022 the interim final rule remains binding and effective. Recipients can choose to take advantage of the final rule’s flexibilities and simplifications now, even ahead of the effective date.
2. What are key changes in the Final Rule?
The final rule delivers broader flexibility and greater simplicity in the program, responsive to feedback in the comment process. Among other clarifications and changes, the final rule provides features to the areas listed below:
- Replacing lost public-sector revenue
- Public health and economic impacts
- Premium pay
- Water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure
3. Did the Final Rule re-categorize eligible expenses?
Yes, in some cases, enumerated eligible uses included in the interim final rule under responding to the public health emergency have been re-categorized in the organization of the final rule to enhance clarity.
- For discussion of eligible uses for public health and safety staff and to improve the design and execution of public health programs see page 170 of the Final Rule
- For discussion of eligible uses to address disparities in public health outcomes see page 72 of the Final Rule
- For discussion of eligible assistance to small businesses and nonprofits to respond to public health impacts see page 142 of the Final Rule
4. Does the Final Rule provide additional flexibility for broadband projects?
Yes, the final rule broadens the set of eligible broadband infrastructure investments that recipients may undertake. Read more about eligible broadband infrastructure investments
5. Can my city use ARPA funds to provide COVID-19 paid leave to employees?
Yes, the final rule includes paid family and medical leave for public employees to enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions as an eligible use of funds.