How will Texas Distribute ARPA Funds?

According to Senator Jane Nelson’s press release, Senate Bill 8 appropriates a total of $16.3 billion from ARPA — $15.8 billion from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund and another $500.5 million from the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, including:

  • $7.2 billion to replenish the Unemployment Compensation Fund, ensuring that businesses are not faced with an increase in unemployment taxes due to pandemic-related layoffs;
  • $3 billion to deploy hospital surge staffing, purchase therapeutic drugs, and support regional infusion centers;
  • $3.7 billion to cover salaries and benefits for state employees directly working on pandemic response;
  • $500.5 million for broadband expansion, with $75 million of those funds designated for a broadband pole replacement program (out of the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund);
  • $500 million for construction projects at institutions of higher education, contingent on the passage of legislation;
  • $300 million for a State Operations Center to aid the state in disaster response;
  • $200 million to bolster cybersecurity;
  • $160 million to shore up funding for organizations serving sexual assault survivors and other crime victims;
  • $286 million to the Teacher Retirement System to cover COVID-related health claims and to ensure no active or retired teacher faces an increase in health care premiums due to the pandemic;
  • $237.8 million to expand access to mental health care by completing construction of a new state psychiatric hospital in Dallas;
  • $113 million to the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium to expand mental health treatment options for young Texans struggling with depression and suicide; and
  • $100 million to support Texas food banks, which continue to serve high numbers of Texans in need.


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