To implement Colorado’s strong recovery framework, Governor Polis has taken a number of steps to support the efficient use of all stimulus funds and to maximize their impact on the state’s recovery.
By combining the American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA) Direct Agency Awards (i.e. awards made directly from Federal agencies to State agencies, like plussed up block grants or additional rounds of funding to existing programs), and ARPA’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds ($3.8B given to the State Government for recovery activities) with one-time state stimulus funding, Colorado is maximizing resources to make transformative investments in our recovery and future. This website seeks to update the public on how our state is deploying these funds.
Most early funds were related to emergency pandemic response. With the Colorado Recovery Plan and ARPA, Colorado moved towards making investments that will have long-term transformative effects.
- The CARES Act provided the State with an estimated $2.4B in funds directed towards emergency response. The majority of these funds were used to support the public health response, including Alternative Care Sites, testing, vaccination, containment, and the purchase of PPE and other supplies and equipment.
- HR 133 provided continued support for emergency response, including business loans, stimulus checks, and unemployment.
Over the past two years, Colorado has strategically built the infrastructure needed to implement ARPA’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) and has appropriated 92% of the $3,828,761,790 awarded to the State. The remaining funds are planned for future investments to stabilize Colorado’s budget and ensure we do not have to cut back on critical state services, such as education, housing, and employee compensation. Through investments appropriated by the legislature in 2021 and 2022, Colorado is partnering with our local government partners, as well as those in the private and nonprofit sectors to further the Colorado comeback.
Many of our federal investments have been intertwined with one-time general fund investments. To that end, we have continued to track those investments together. The numbers on this site do not include all one-time investments the state has made in the past years, such as air quality or public safety packages, but do include those funds that were connected to the overall framework that was developed for the economic recovery.
- We have had to continuously adapt to a changing set of federal regulations. In May of 2021, the US Treasury released the initial interim rule on the use of the state and local portion of ARPA funds. From May, 2021 to almost February 2022, we had to adapt to ongoing changes to reporting and allowable uses of funds
Current Status of All Projects
The State continues to work with each agency to actively monitor all Stimulus spending closely, to ensure that funds awarded from the Federal Government and State Legislature are spent on time and in compliance with State and Federal regulations.
Two and a half years into the spending of these funds, over a third of SLFRF funds have been spent, and over half have been spent or encumbered with three years remaining. It is important to note that funds that show up as unencumbered could be: funds that have been awarded but have not yet been finalized (encumbered) in contract; projects intended to be expended over multiple years or over time, such as capital funds, construction projects, and grants with multiple years; or obligations between state agencies and institutions of higher education.
Nearly 75% of Direct-To-Agency awards and state stimulus are encumbered or spent overall. Major unencumbered Direct to Agency Awards are from the Center for Disease Control pandemic response funds where there is not an ongoing need to drawdown funds. The majority of unencumbered State Stimulus funds are in housing, where many funds have been recently awarded and are still going through contracting.