The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act is remarkable not only in its sheer scope – 1.9 trillion dollars – but also in the discretion afforded recipients.
Simply put, ARP funding has very few strings attached.
For agencies deciding how to spend stimulus money, the easiest thing to do — both politically and generally — would be to give money to the people asking for it the loudest. The squeaky wheel, as they say, gets the grease.
The harder, but ultimately more effective, approach is to pause: Articulate clear, measurable goals. Put yourself on the line publicly for those goals. And then invest in interventions that deliver on those goals.
If you are leading a city, county, state, or tribal government, or if you run an agency that’s receiving ARP funds, here’s what we would do if we were you.
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