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Tuesday, January 18, 2022
ARPA: Where did $1.6B Go?
By News Release @ 9:48 PM :: 3366 Views :: Hawaii State Government, COVID-19


VIDEO: Gov. David Ige details American Rescue Plan Act fund spending

Office of the Governor Press Release, Jan 18, 2022

HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige today said the State of Hawaiʻi allocated all the $1.6 billion received last May, from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The ARPA funds were  to be used for emergency response stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID resulted in a global economic shutdown, which had devastating consequences on our state. We were force to cut many programs and services, state workers were at risk of being furloughed, our hospital system was overwhelmed, our tourism industry was shut down, and our economy was on the brink of collapse,” said Gov. Ige. “At the same time, there was greater demand for essential government services and social safety nets. ARPA funds helped us pivot.”

Gov. Ige’s approach was to funnel the funds to:

Support critical services
Respond to COVID-19 public health emergency
Promote economic recovery and ensure equitable outcomes for those hit hard by pandemic



A major portion of ARPA funds supported the Department of Labor & Industrial Relations’ Unemployment Insurance Program, to support and provide a safety net for the thousands of individuals who were without jobs during the pandemic.

$70M – UI call and adjudication center
$800M – UI loan repayment
Proposing continued support in FY23 with ARPA funds

Hospitals/Public Health Response:

The state spent a large amount of ARPA funds supporting state hospitals, emergency medical services and COVID-19 response.

$32M – HI Health Systems Corporation
$84M – EMS and injury prevention
$16M – HI Health Systems Oʻahu Region
$2.9M – Wahiawa Hospital Services
$11M – Maui Health System hospital subsidy
$10M – COVID-19 test kits
$8M – Department of Health, COVID administrative support
$50M – Department of Public Safety, strengthen COVID response

Visitor Industry:

ARPA funds were used to keep the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority intact while the pandemic heavily impacted the visitor industry. HTA used these funds to restructure operations and focus more on promoting more sustainable tourism to Hawaiʻi. Funds were also dedicated to creating the Safe Travels program to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

$60M – HTA
$11M – Convention Center
$41M – Safe Travels Hawaiʻi

Essential Services:

ARPA funds were critical in supporting important services for the community.

$10.8M – Homeless services
$1.5M – Senior centers
$1.3M – Family health services


It was important to support our university system during the pandemic, as well as those with financial need.

$28M – University of Hawaiʻi System
$1.3M – Financial need scholarships (HI Promise Program)

Infrastructure/Looking Forward:

ARPA funds also supported Broadband initiatives, which are included in Gov. Ige’s supplemental budget request.

$1.5M – Broadband infrastructure planning
$2.7M – Modernize financial system

“The pandemic showed us that there is a huge digital divide in our state, and that access to reliable and high-speed internet is essential for all students and workers. We anticipate additional federal funding this year through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed earlier this year, and potentially other federal sources. We will continue to use these funds to restore and rebuild our state this coming year,” said Gov. Ige.

For a complete list of awards and programs supported with these federal funds, please visit: COVID-19 Awards and Awards Received by State Departments.

# # #

For video click here

For photos click here

CS: Hawaii uses federal money to repay federal unemployment loan


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