How Colorado Spent Over $9 Billion in US Federal Rescue Plan Act Funds | New

Colorado has spent more than $9 billion in federal funds from the $1.9 trillion U.S. bailout act intended to aid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 16 months after President Joe Biden signed the law, the Colorado Health Institute released an interactive chart on Wednesday, tracking Colorado’s spending of unique ARPA funds.

“ARPA funding may not be a priority for many people right now, but it’s an unprecedented amount for the state, cities, counties, and schools,” Joe said. Hanel, director of communications for the Colorado Health Institute. money is just beginning to flow, and the impacts will be felt in Colorado’s health and social policy for many years to come.

In total, the graph shows just over $9.59 billion in spending, split between the state legislature, local governments, education, state agencies and other categories.

Here’s how the expenses break down:

State Legislature

The Colorado Legislature spent the largest portion of ARPA funds, amounting to $3.62 billion. That money has been delegated through more than three dozen bills in categories including discretionary spending, economic development, behavioral health, housing, and labor.

Discretionary spending took by far the most money, accounting for $1.65 billion, or nearly 46% of the Legislature’s total ARPA funds. The Legislature invested $600 million in the state unemployment insurance fund, $380 million in transportation systems, and $350 million in capital construction. Another $300 million was to be allocated at the discretion of Governor Jared Polis.

The economic development bills received $649 million in ARPA funds, which were split among more than a dozen projects. Costliest projects included $200 million for homeless resource campuses and prevention grants, $75 million to expand high-speed internet access, $61 million to support healthcare workers and $52 million to recruit educators. Other notable efforts have been invested in local nonprofits, services for victims of crime, and wildfire prevention.

Behavioral Health Projects secured $547 million in funding, including efforts to increase the workforce, increase capacity in residential care and address the fentanyl crisis. Housing took in $528 million with loans, grants and manufacturing efforts. Finally, $241 million was invested in the state’s workforce, including multiple grants and employee development programs.

Local governments

The state allocated $1.96 billion directly to local governments to spend, with $1.12 billion going to counties and $845 million to cities.

Denver got the plurality of money, acquiring $141 million from county funds and $167 million from city funds, for a total of $308 million. Other top spending: $140 million for El Paso County, $128 million for Arapahoe County, $113 million for Jefferson County, and $101 million for Adams County .

For cities, Colorado Springs got $76 million, Aurora got $65 million, Pueblo got $37 million, and Fort Collins got $28 million.

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In the third-largest allocation, the state spent $1.53 billion on education — of which $1.04 billion went to K-12 schools and $495 million to colleges and universities.

Denver County School District got the largest chunk of funds with $210 million, followed by $77 million for Aurora Public Schools, $68 million for Jefferson County Public Schools, $60 million $46 million for Colorado Springs School District 11 and $46 million for Mesa County Valley School District. 51.

The University of Colorado raised $85 million, including $51 million for its Boulder campus and $34 million for its Denver campus. Other significant investments include $50 million for the Colorado State University system, $46 million for Metropolitan State University in Denver, and $29 million for Front Range Community College.

State Agencies

Four state agencies received $1.47 billion in ARPA funds, with most of the money going to the Colorado Department of Social Services and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Funding.

The Department of Social Services secured $541 million, of which $465 million went to child care investments and subsidies. An additional $28 million was spent to create a block grant for mental health, $23 million created a block grant for substance abuse, and $21 million was invested in programs and services for older Coloradans.

The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing received $530 million and spent $280 million on workforce and rural sustainability projects. The department also spent $79 million on tools and technology, $63 million on COVID-19 recovery efforts, $57 million on expanding access to underserved populations, and $17 million on dollars for crisis and acute services.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment secured $281 million, all of which was spent on emergency responses to COVID-19. The Department of Education received $117 million, which was used as supplemental funding for K-12 schools.


Just over $1 billion was spent on other miscellaneous projects statewide, with the largest portion being $378 million for public transit. The vast majority of those funds — $304 million — went to transit projects in Denver and Aurora. Another $32 million went to Boulder, $18 million to rural areas, $11 million to Fort Collins, and $7 million to Colorado Springs.

Airports received $264 million in ARPA funds. Of that amount, $233 million was invested in Denver International Airport and the rest was split between smaller airports, such as Colorado Springs Municipal Airport and Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. .

Other projects that have received substantial funding from ARPA include high-speed Internet, which received $170 million, local health centers, which received $132 million, and grants for the homeless. Small Town Shelter, which got $25 million.

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