Hawaiʻi allocated $1.6 billion in ARPA funds primarily to unemployment, health care and tourism
Replenishing unemployment insurance coffers, funding the state Department of Public Safety’s COVID response efforts at prisons, and boosting the state’s Safe Travels program — those were some of the ways the state spent $1.6 billion in federal money from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Gov. David Ige detailed how the state spent the money at a press conference on Tuesday, saying the funds helped the state avoid furloughs and kept social safety nets afloat.
"My approach with these funds was to provide critical services, respond to the COVID-19 health emergency, and to promote economic recovery and equitable outcomes for those who were hard hit by the pandemic," Ige said.
Half the money, some $800 million, went to unemployment insurance, with $70 million going to the unemployment call center.
A significant share went toward hospitals, emergency services and other critical care providers.
Funds also went toward tourism and essential services like homeless shelters and senior centers.
The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority received $60 million and the Safe Travels program received $41 million, according to Ige's office.
Ige said he’s anticipating more federal money through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed by President Joe Biden last November.
Click here for a list of all the state recipients of ARPA funds.