COVID-19 Federal Relief Funds – Discretionary

Murl Riedel
Senior Fiscal Analyst

Amy Deckard
Assistant Director for Fiscal Affairs

The federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 allocates $1.6 billion from the federal State Fiscal Recovery (SFR) Fund to the State of Kansas for discretionary purposes. ARPA provides the following allowable uses:

Responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts;
Premium pay to essential workers;
Replacing revenue lost due to the COVID-19 public health emergency; and
Investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.

State Fiscal Recovery Funding in Kansas

Pursuant to 2021 HB 2007 and 2022 SB 267, expenditures from the federal SFR Fund must be recommended by the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Task Force and approved by the State Finance Council or appropriated by the Legislature.

A total of $1.6 billion has been appropriated, or otherwise directed, for the following items:

Labor – $509.6 million

  • $500.0 million for the Kansas Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund, partially contingent upon an audit of fraudulent claims and improper payments; and
  • $9.6 million for the UI payment system.

Economic Development – $310.6 million

  • $150.0 million for Building a Stronger Economy (BASE) grants for economic infrastructure;
  • $60.0 million for workforce development in high-demand industries and local tourism grants;
  • $50.0 million for COVID-19 retail storefront property tax assistance; and
  • $50.6 million for economic development projects in counties with certain population sizes.

State Operations – $235.3 million

  • $95.0 million for efficiency projects at state agencies involving modernization of facilities, technology, and security;
  • $92.5 million for the Docking State Office Building and Kansas Department of Health and Environment laboratory;
  • $30.3 million for the 24/7 Pay Plan at correctional facilities, state hospitals, and veterans’ homes;
  • $15.3 million for the Office of Recovery; and
  • $2.2 million to the Kansas State School for the Blind (KSSB) to replace state funds for capital improvements.

Health – $198.5 million

  • $66.0 million for grants to health care facilities for construction and program expansion;
  • $65.0 million for hospital worker retention and nursing facilities staffing;
  • $43.0 million for grants to child care facilities and integration of state early childhood data systems; and
  • $24.5 million for the 988 Crisis Hotline, Rural Hospital Innovation Grants, small municipal water and sewer infrastructure, and nutritional programs for seniors.

Universities – $188.0 million

  • $75.0 million for university challenge grants, requiring a 3 (private) to 1 (state) match;
  • $100.0 million for projects primarily involving workforce training or economic development;
  • $10.0 million to Wichita State University for the Digital Transformation Program, requiring a 50.0 percent local match; and
  • $3.0 million for the Integrated Health Studies Center at Washburn University.

Education – $59.4 million

  • $50.0 million for Learning Loss Recovery grants to households;
  • $4.4 million for a language assessment program at KSSB and a virtual math program at the Kansas State Department of Education;1
  • $4.0 million for the Kansas Connect and Learn initiative, which provides schools with matching funds for federal broadband programs; and
  • $1.0 million for School Safety and Security grants.

Colleges – $55.4 million

  • $45.4 million for grants to community and technical colleges for workforce development projects, requiring a 50.0 percent local match; and
  • $10.0 million for grants to private and independent colleges, requiring a 3 (private) to 1 (state) match.

Housing – $55.0 million

  • $20.0 million for moderate-income housing in areas with populations below 60,000;
  • $25.0 million for housing grants to accommodate economic development in counties with a certain population sizes, requiring a 50.0 percent local match; and
  • $10.0 million for grants to develop housing for elderly and disabled individuals, requiring a 50.0 percent local match.

Connectivity – $35.0 million

  • $35.0 million for grants supporting broadband expansion, requiring a local match based on population, and grants to low-income households for broadband services.
  • Public Safety – $23.9 million
  • $9.0 million to the Kansas Highway Patrol to replace state funds for the purchase of an executive aircraft; (1)
  • $8.7 million to the Department of Corrections to replace state funds for a data management system and the Pathways for Success technical education initiative; (1)
  • $5.0 million for grants to local public safety entities for interoperable communications equipment; and
  • $1.2 million to the State Fire Marshal for Firefighter Recruitment and Safety grants. (1)


SFR Fund moneys for this purpose are contingent upon determination of funding availability and suitability.