States Put Bulk of Discretionary Dollars into Public Safety

While the bulk of stimulus funding earmarked for state recovery efforts comes with conditions, a small amount comes with the freedom for officials to do with what they please.

According to a recent report published by the Council of State Governments, states are spending $8.8 billion in discretionary funding in the State Fiscal Stabilization funds on various efforts. The largest chunk – more than 28 percent – went to Public Safety, with smaller allocations going toward facility renovation and education as well as Medicaid, Public Assistance and Transportation. Some states are using this money to support the administration of their ARRA funds.

The monies appear to be a small but crucial piece of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act package enacted in February. State officials were given total flexibility with these funds, and the decisions they’ve made about where to put them to use reflect important and timely needs and stabilize key areas of state government.

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