TRENTON – State government leaders have outlined plans for how they will spend about 35% of the more than $6.2 billion in federal coronavirus recovery funds New Jersey received through the American Rescue Plan.

In total, the state has received $6,244,538,956 through the ARP, plus around $192 million devoted to broadband expansion and improvements.

The $6.2 billion comes with some restrictions from the federal government and is intended to be spent through the end of 2024.

Here’s how $2.216 billion would be spent, as outlined in state budget documents:

Children, youth and education

  • $600 million over three years: Additional year of special education for 22-year-olds with disabilities who are aging out of services
  • $100 million: Expand child care services
  • $10 million: County special service schools

Homeowners & renters

  • $500 million: Rental assistance
  • $250 million: Utility relief
  • $10 million: Home Lead Paint Remediation

Infrastructure, environment & development

  • $450 million: Public health infrastructure, split evenly among the three regional Level I trauma centers: University Hospital in Newark, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and Cooper Hospital/University Medical Center in Camden.
  • $15 million: World Cup and Meadowlands Complex
  • $10.5 million: Water and sewer – Fort Monmouth
  • $10 million: Camden city sewer disconnect
  • $180 million: HVAC ‘energy efficiency’ improvements in schools and small businesses
  • $10 million: Public access lake stormwater management grants to Greenwood
  • Lake Commission, Lake Hopatcong Commission and other qualified lake management entities
  • $5 million: New Jersey Performing Arts Center – Operating Aid
  • $5 million: Local Government Infrastructure Planning
  • $5 million: Water Quality Accountability Municipal Compliance (Cyber security)
  • $2 million: MVC Mobile Agency Units
  • $2 million: Milltown Water Line Relining
  • $1.5 million: Dredging the Woodbridge Township marina

Jobs

  • $25 million: Commuter and transit bus private carrier pandemic relief and jobs program
  • $10 million: Unemployment processing modernization and improvements

Aid

  • $10 million: Food and hunger
  • $5 million: Legal Services of New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy can make unilateral decisions about spending a $200 million fund of ARP money without legislative input, in increments of less than $10 million. Any larger or additional payments must be approved by the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, a panel of six state legislators.

The budget will also require the state Department of Education to report by the end of March about how school districts used their ARP aid. The state’s chief technology officer must also file a report by Oct. 1 on the state’s most critical information technology needs that could be met using federal funds.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com.

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