Department of Administrative Services

American Rescue Plan Act

Vision Framework

American Rescue Plan Act

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 was signed into law by President Joseph Biden on March 11, 2021, in efforts to provide support to individuals, families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Milwaukee County will directly receive $183 million in ARPA funding through the federal government’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. These funds are intended to allow flexibility for jurisdictions to meet local needs and fund local solutions to support families, small businesses, impacted industries, essential workers and the communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Funds must be encumbered by Dec. 31, 2024 and spent by Dec. 31, 2026. According to guidance released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, ARPA funds may be used to:

  • Support public health expenditures, such as COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare and certain public health and safety staff
  • Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries and the public sector
  • Replace lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have borne and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors
  • Invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and to expand access to broadband internet

SLFRF Report

ARPA Task Force

On June 24, 2021, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to establish the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Task Force. The task force will use a public process to make non-binding recommendations for ARPA allocations to the County Board of Supervisors. Milwaukee County will leverage its vision and strategic plan to ensure allocations advance the county’s vision: By achieving racial equity, Milwaukee will be the healthiest county in Wisconsin.

The ARPA Task Force is comprised of six members or their designees:

  • County Board Chairperson
    • Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson has designated Supervisor Shawn Rolland as her representative
  • County Executive
    • County Executive David Crowley has designated Ricardo Diaz, retired Executive Director of the United Community Center, as his representative
  • Chairperson, Committee on Finance
    • Supervisor Jason Haas
  • Director, Department of Administrative Services
    • DAS Director Aaron Hertzberg has designated Grants & Special Projects Division Director Ashley Adsit as his representative
  • Comptroller
    • Scott Manske
  • Director, Office on African American Affairs
    • Jeffery Roman
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  How much ARPA funding will Milwaukee County receive?

Milwaukee County is expected to directly receive an allocation of $183 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. We have already received half of this allocation ($92 million) and we are expecting to receive the other half in May of 2022.

The ARPA funding we will receive is much less than the estimated $300 to $400 million total revenue that Milwaukee County will lose between 2021-2024.

  Why was the ARPA Task Force created?

The ARPA Task Force is a cross-section of Milwaukee County leaders who are in the best position to make informed recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on how to spend our ARPA funding.

The ARPA Task Force is charged with:

  • Creating a process to broadly engage the public and ensure diverse input and ideas from Milwaukee County residents
  • Determining the evaluation criteria for proposed projects, programs, and services in accordance with the guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury
  • Monitoring the progress and reporting of funded projects, programs, and services
  • Measuring the impact of ARPA spending and investments
  Who created the ARPA Task Force?

Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marceila Nicholson created the ARPA Task Force.

  How can Milwaukee County residents stay informed about how the ARPA funds are being spent?

Milwaukee County values transparency and accountability and the Task Force will ensure the public has full access to our decisions about how we spend our ARPA funds.

Residents can check this website for the most up-to-date information.

The ARPA Task Force meetings are available through the Milwaukee County Legislative Information Center (CLIC), including audio and video live streams and recordings, materials and minutes.

  Why is community engagement so important?

Health and civic engagement are directly linked. When a culture of health exists, people care about their communities and are more motivated to participate.

Community engagement:

Milwaukee County having a robust community engagement strategy in place for economic stimulus spending means we will be able to:

  Can Milwaukee County spend ARPA funds on whatever it wants?

We have fairly broad discretion over how we spend our ARPA resources, but there are constraints. The Act requires that spending be used for four general purposes:

  • To respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts
  • To respond to workers performing essential work during COVID-19 through the provision of premium pandemic pay or grants to workers
  • For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction of revenue due to COVID-19, including lost revenues
  • To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure
  What are we spending money on specific to the public health emergency?

Much of our spending has to be focused on costs we have and continue to incur as a result of the pandemic, including COVID-19 safety and protective purchases, COVID-19 related revenue losses, vaccine distribution and COVID-19 testing, increased need/demand for community and economic support programs, and IT and remote work-related investments so we could continue to function at a high level throughout the pandemic.

  How does ARPA spending relate to Milwaukee County’s long-term goals?

Everything we do in Milwaukee County is guided by our vision of achieving racial equity and becoming the healthiest county in Wisconsin.

In the United States, COVID-19 has disproportionately affected underserved communities, where individuals who are non-Hispanic Black and Latinx are more than twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to die from COVID-19. This stark disparity underscores important medical, social, economic, environmental, and political contexts that predate the COVID-19 pandemic.

All proposed ARPA projects, programs, and services must align with our Racial Equity Framework and demonstrate how they will advance our County’s health and racial equity goals.

ARPA Community Engagement

Milwaukee County values the input of our residents about how we spend and invest ARPA funds. Please join us to share your priorities and ideas!

Community Engagement Opportunities

  • Wednesday, Oct. 20, 7 - 8:30 p.m., ARPA Town Hall hosted by Supervisors Liz Sumner and Sheldon Wasserman
  • Thursday, Oct. 21, 6  - 7:30 p.m., County Budget Town Hall hosted by Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson
  • Monday, Oct. 25, 6 - 7:30 p.m., ARPA Town Hall hosted by Supervisor Felicia Martin and the ARPA Task Force, joined by local, state, and federal officials

Engagement With Public Boards and Commissions

Additional Outreach to Community-Based Groups

Share Your Priorities & Ideas With the ARPA Task Force

Milwaukee County wants to understand your priorities and ideas on how to allocate $36.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to Community Support programs through 2024. Through this form, you can rank your priorities and offer ideas to be considered by Milwaukee County’s ARPA Task Force.

Our goal is to allocate ARPA funds in support of Milwaukee County’s strategic vision to become the healthiest county in Wisconsin by achieving racial equity. More specifically, we are seeking ideas that will help us meet urgent pandemic-related community needs and enable our county to:

  • Invest “upstream” to address root causes of health disparities
  • Enhance the County’s fiscal health and sustainability
  • Dismantle barriers to diverse and inclusive communities

View ARPA Guidelines for Spending

View a Presentation on Milwaukee County's Financial Position

View ARPA Task Force Spending Categories

ARPA funds will not solve the extreme fiscal challenges faced by the County. We will we not be able to fund all or even most of the ideas we will receive from residents. However, there is an opportunity to make an impact by investing in areas that will save money over time and reserve valuable tax-payer dollars for preventative, upstream investments that improve health and racial equity outcomes for residents.

Thank you for your willingness to share your input and ideas!

Milwaukee County ARPA Task Force Members


Submit additional ideas here. One per form please.


Milwaukee County Courthouse
901 N. 9th St., Room 308
Milwaukee, WI 53233

(414) 278-5353 (Voice), 711 (TRS)

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