FLORIDA, USA — President Joe Biden signed into law a $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan which includes $1,400 direct payment stimulus checks.
Congress gave final approval on the “American Rescue Plan” Wednesday, which will pump billions of dollars into the state of Florida.
We're tracking the money trail to see who exactly gets what in Tampa Bay.
10 Tampa Bay obtained the State and Local Allocation Estimates spreadsheet developed by the House Oversight & Reform Committee.
State of Florida: The Sunshine State will get $17.6 billion. $10 billion of that will stay in Tallahassee and be distributed according to decisions made by the state legislature. The remaining $7 billion will be split up between county and city governments around the state.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been consistently critical of the stimulus package for weeks. Friday, he said, "We were treated very poorly in the stimulus. We’re going to end up getting about $2 billion less than if they had just done a per capita distribution."
DeSantis says states like New York and California got more money because they have higher unemployment and therefore Florida is getting punished for having "lower unemployment and better policies."
With $10 billion going to county governments, we're looking and how much the Tampa Bay area will have to play with. Here's the estimated breakdown:
Hillsborough: $285.48 million
Pinellas: $189.09 million
Polk: $140.57 million
Pasco: $107.43 million
Sarasota: $84.12 million
Manatee: $78.21 million
On Friday, U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist (D- Florida) was in Clearwater applauding the stimulus package.
Crist said, "Thank God for President Joe Biden," before explaining how money can potentially be spent in Pinellas County.
"Altogether $314 million for all of our city and county governments here in Pinellas County for government, affordable housing, homeless relief, small businesses assistance," he said.
Eight cities in the Tampa Bay area will also get direct funds from the stimulus package. Here's the breakdown:
Tampa: $80.29 million
St. Petersburg: $46.66 million
Lakeland: $24.38 million
Clearwater: $20.87 million
Largo: $13.91 million
Sarasota: $10.92 million
Bradenton: $10.90 million
Pinellas Park: $9.98 million
Where exactly this money will go once it's in the hands of local leaders is yet to be determined and ultimately left up to local governments to decide and distribute.
Local leaders might decide to partner with non-profits to ensure those most in need get services quickly.
Thomas Mantz, the President and CEO of Feeding Tampa Bay said he anticipates partnering with county and city lawmakers in the near future.
"We’re waiting to see how some of the other counties and cities and municipalities will manage the funds that they get. In the last CARES Act program, we partnered with the counties in our program to provide other services like, paying furloughed workers, providing cooked meals, and other partnership programs," explained Mantz.
Another big aspect of the American Rescue Plan revolves around supporting American schools. The package designates $130 billion for K12 education. Congressional committees are still working out the final amount but the following is a rough estimate of what Tampa Bay school districts could see in the coming weeks:
Hillsborough: $500 million
Polk: $293 million
Pinellas: $178 million
Pasco: $131 million
Manatee: $86 million
Sarasota: $69 million
This a flexible pot of funding that allows local educational agencies to spend funding at their discretion including hiring teachers, purchasing computers and internet devices, supporting homeless youth, purchasing cleaning supplies, etc.
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