Arizona could receive nearly $4.2 billion in federal aid to soften the impact of the coronavirus crisis, according to a preliminary analysis of the national stimulus package released Friday.
Nearly $3 billion of that money would go directly to state and local governments to cover “necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency,” the early Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimates show.
President Donald Trump signed the $2.2 trillion package Friday as economies sputtered and unemployment claims skyrocketed throughout the nation.
Earlier this week, Arizona surpassed its previous record for the number of jobless claims filed in one day.
“There’s thousands and thousands of great Arizonans who have never asked for anything from the government,” Gov. Doug Ducey said during a radio interview Friday morning. “Today, they’ve got no income, and they’ve got high anxiety, and many of them are concerned about losing their apartment or their home or their small business.
“With what the feds are doing and what the state has, this is going to be a lifeline,” the governor said.
Several details about Arizona’s portion of the stimulus package remain uncertain, but here’s the JLBC’s best guess at how much will come in and where that money will go.
Of the $4.2 billion Arizona may receive, about $1.6 billion would go to the state government, according to the estimate.
Local governments could see about $1.3 billion in funding. Entities with populations of more than 500,000 — such as Maricopa and Pima counties and the cities of Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa — may receive cash directly versus through the state.
Taxpayers below certain income thresholds will receive one-time, direct payments as well.
Single individuals who reported an adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 on tax filings for last year will receive $1,200. Couples filing jointly will receive a $2,400 if they made less than $150,000 jointly. Parents and guardians will get another $500 per child.
These direct payments are separate from weekly unemployment benefits, which will jump from $240 to $840 with the addition of federal aid. The direct payments and unemployment boost appear separate from the $4.2 billion Arizona will receive.
The state departments of Administration and Emergency and Military Affairs could get about $2 million to “support coordination of communications and logistics among state, local, and tribal governments,” according to the JLBC’s analysis.
Another $12 million could be used to expand lab capacity, for infection control and other “preparedness and response” activities.
Local jurisdictions could apply for a combined $6 million in grant funding to provide food, and lodging or to cover rent, mortgage and utility payments for individuals and families in crisis.
The federal government also is expected to help cover the cost of National Guard members called in to help with logistics.
The estimates found that the state could receive more than $630 million in education funding.
K-12 schools could receive about $286 million to address “coronavirus-related emergency needs” as determined by the state Department of Education.
Colleges and universities are expected to get about $280 million, with institutions required to put at least 50% toward student grants.
The governor would get another $68 million in education funding to allocate as he sees fit, as long as the money goes to “local education agencies, higher education institutions or other education-related entities.”
Children, families, older adults
Arizona could receive about $85 million in aid for child care, including providing child care subsidies for essential employees.
About $22 million would go to programs for early childhood development, child welfare, family violence prevention and runaway and homeless youth.
The state may receive another $18 million specifically to help older adults. That funding would go toward home meals and caregiver services, among others.
Arizona could receive $550 million in transit infrastructure grants, one of the largest portions of the overall funding.
About $8 million in election security grants could be used to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus in the 2020 federal election cycle.” The virus already had an impact on Arizona elections earlier this month.
Arizona also could receive about $18 million in Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grants, which support law enforcement, prosecution, crime prevention and substance abuse treatment efforts, among others.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com or 602-653-6807. Follow her on Twitter @mpolletta.
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