Governor Mark Gordon announced that Wyoming will receive $1.1 billion in federal relief funds.

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According to a release from the Governor’s office, Gordon has tasked a “diverse group of stakeholders” with developing a blueprint of distribution for federal relief funds that will offered to Wyoming and local governments later this year, through the American Rescue Plan (ARP…not to be confused with the AARP).

Governor Gordon estimates that Wyoming will receive close to $1.1 billion, as well as millions of dollars that will be distributed to citizens via tax rebates, and to local governments and other entities directly from the federal government.

According to the release, the Governor’s directions for the blueprint is to identify the needs and opportunities for Wyoming and to develop a budget to optimize the one-time dispersal of these funds.

“Wyoming will survive the impacts of COVID, drive through our period of recovery and set up the conditions for us to thrive in the long-term,” Governor Gordon said. “It is imperative to emphasize long-term benefits because this funding has increased the debt for future generations.”

Gordon stressed that this move will require collaboration between the Legislative and the Executive Branches of government to maximize benefits of these resources for the people of Wyoming.

“I am committed to working with the Legislature to ensure that we use the funds effectively and responsibly, and that we seek to develop big ideas that will have significant and long-lasting impacts” the Governor added. “Wyoming won’t see these funds for some time, allowing us to develop a plan to ensure these dollars benefit citizens for years to come.”

According to the release, the American Rescue Plan includes $350 billion total in aid to state and local governments. While the Federal government does have expectations on the use of these funds, unlike the CARES Act funding, Wyoming will have close to four years to spend the entirety of the funds.

At this point, Governor Gordon wants to focus on three areas to identify the most significant problems Wyoming is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the three highest priorities and they are:

Health and Social Services

Education and Workforce

Economic Diversity and Economic Development

Gordon said that each focus area will be led by a member of the Executive branch, in collaboration with the Governor’s office.

Gordon does stress the importance of “using these one-time funds for one-time expenses.”

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