Happening in the States
Tracking ARPA Fund Investments
State and local governments continue to dedicate portions of their American Rescue Plan Act allocations to the work and needs of residents and charitable organizations in their communities.
Food Security: In Colorado, a county board of commissioners approved $1.7 million for the Jefferson County Food System Grant. $100,000 will be administered as technical assistance contracts to help grantees. The goal of the grant is to “foster a local food system that ensures equitable access to nutritious, locally produced food.” Earlier in September, Franklin County, Ohio, provided the Mid-Ohio Food Collective an additional $2.5 million in ARPA funds through a unanimous resolution in response to the increase in visits to food pantries in the County. The nonprofit’s CEO estimates that Franklin County has seen a 40 percent increase in visits compared to 2020, and the increased resources will help the organization work under the pressures of inflation and supply chain issues.
Homelessness & Housing: In Texas, Austin’s Homeless Strategy Division and Innovation Office announced the 21 nonprofit recipients of the city’s Organizational Capacity Building Initiative. The designated entities will receive technical assistance and grants of up to $45,000 to “support and increase the capacity of service provers in Austin’s Homelessness Response System.” Grantees were selected based on an evaluation that included a panel of community advocates and people with lived experience of homelessness as part of the Initiative’s community-informed approach. The initiative aims to build pathways for organizations to access government funding, expand services, improve equity, and integrate previously excluded organizations into the system.
Learn more about the role of philanthropy in promoting effective ARPA investments by viewing the recording of a recent Council webinar, ARPA and Philanthropy: Seizing the Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity.
Trend Spotting: Employment Policies
Paid Sick Leave: On July 1, New Mexico’s paid sick leave law went into effect, requiring private employers of all sizes, including nonprofits, to allow their workers to accrue and use one hour of paid sick time for every thirty hours worked. The law applies to full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers. The state joined the growing list of cities, counties, and states with paid sick leave requirements, with Colorado and Virginia also enacting similar laws during the pandemic.
Student Loan Relief: This month, New York enacted a law that expands and simplifies access to the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program for public service workers in the state. Public service employers, including charitable nonprofits, will be permitted to certify employment and share necessary data with the U.S. Department of Education to streamline processing for workers. The new law requires public service employers to provide annual notice of renewal and a copy of the certification form for certain workers. The law further expands the definition of “full-time” to at least an average of 30 hours per week for the purposes of public service, which clarifies and allows more borrowers to access the program. A bill awaiting California Governor Newsom’s signature would establish the Golden State Social Opportunities Program to provide grants to certain social work, therapy, or psychology students who commit to working at an eligible nonprofit in California for their required post-degree hours.