ARPA Update: Contact Legislators
House & Senate Approve Phase 1
This week (Feb 14-18), the House and Senate adopted "Phase 1" of their ARPA allocations, both without nonprofit grants. Here's what in the two "Phase 1" proposals:
- Sewer / Water Infrastructure Grants (Rural Infrastructure Authority)
$800M (House) / $900M (Senate)
- Road Acceleration Projects (DOT)
$453M (House & Senate)
- Broadband Expansion (Office of Regulatory Staff - ORS)
$400M (House & Senate)
- Stormwater/Floodplains/Beach Nourishment (Office of Resilience)
$100M (House Only)
- Management (Department of Administration)
$8M (House Only)
Remaining Balance: ~$720-745M
What's Next: The House and Senate will appoint Conference Committee members (3 each) to work out the differences between the two. No additions can be made - only what was passed by both bodies can be considered.
What's Next for Nonprofits
Thanks to you, our members, we have reached legislators throughout the state, with each interaction yielding positive feedback on the nonprofit proposal.
Phase 2 is the likely home for nonprofits within ARPA funding, and any other ARPA requests. Phase 2 does not have a firm timeline yet. It is important to note that the Legislature may take their time with Phase 2 to see how funds from Phase 1 begin being used.
But this is where the state's revenue forecast comes into play. As the state's confidence has grown in its revenue growth, we have seen an increasing window that the state may be amenable to using some of its new revenue instead of ARPA funds to fulfill the sector's request.
Bottom line, there is no need to pause advocacy efforts. In fact, it's time to take more action.
Legislators need to hear from nonprofit leaders now, and often.
As you consider the state's allocations from ARPA and other funds, I encourage you to support $100 million for a nonprofit grant program through the Department of Commerce. This proposal, supported by the nonprofit and philanthropic sector in South Carolina, would put these funds to work immediately in every South Carolina community to advance our state's economic vision. Nonprofits provide many of the critical support services that make full employment possible, economic mobility attainable, and workforce retention a reality. We need nonprofits to be part of our economic plan for the state.
While the Legislature's Phase 1 appropriation allocated funds to worthwhile and large projects - each of them will require years to fully implement, while a nonprofit grant program would deploy funds in communities within weeks, helping push our communities forward in a timely manner.
Thank you for your time and service to our state. I look forward to hearing what the Legislature can do to support South Carolina communities.