To The Daily Sun,

The American Rescue Plan Act 2021 was signed into law on March 11, and provides for $1.9 trillion in funds for pandemic relief. It can be broken down into three categories:

One part provides $150 million for maternal, infant and an early childhood home visiting program.

A second program provides $250 million in funds. The 50 states will share in the funds which are to fund community based child abuse prevention. It will increase funding in currently operated agencies by 400 percent and encourage new program development.

The bulk of the money is in essential unemployment benefits and extends a $300 federal benefit through Sept. 6, 2021. The fund is in addition to state unemployment benefits. Also included in this portion of the plan was the $1,400 per person for all those who qualified according to income level.

The total estimated amount coming to New Hampshire is $3.8 billion. If you do the math, you see that $3.4 billion is being channeled to cover direct payments and unemployment benefits. Most of us who qualify have already received the $1,400 payout. I would like to know how much the total figure for that was but I could not find that figure. Regardless, the remainder is more than enough to finance the $300 for six months. One would hope that a majority will find full employment soon. 

So, with federal guidance, rules and economic conditions, the state policy makers will be getting the money out the door. Thereon hangs the questions of to whom and how much. Further, for what reasons? Pardon me, but I hope federal rules will prevent any venality on the part of the so-called state policy makers. Let’s all pray that the poor being targeted by this money will get a fair shake. For help in wading through the details, I recommend you take a look at the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute blog. If you have the time, the Institute is presenting a perspective on the act on May 19, 1-2:30 p.m. You must go to the site and register to get the details on Zoom. If you are one of those who work, the Institute has pages of information on how New Hampshire works or fails to work in the best interest of its citizens.

Bill Dawson


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