SPARK Committee makes American Rescue Plan expenditure recommendations

The SPARK Executive Committee has made its recommendations about how to distribute $374 million in American Rescue Plan funds.
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 10:21 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The SPARK Executive Committee has made its recommendations about how to distribute $374 million in American Rescue Plan funds, which will now be passed on to the State Finance Council for approval.

On Monday, Sept. 19, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly reported that the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas Executive Committee has made its recommendations about the distribution of $374 million to put toward crucial state needs.

“We are now one step closer to distributing these funds and addressing Kansas’s most critical needs -- from expanding our broadband infrastructure to improving our education and health care systems,” Gov. Kelly said. “I appreciate our Executive Committee and Advisory Panel members for committing their time, energy, and expertise into shaping these investments and helping to build a stronger state for future generations.”

Kelly noted that the SPARK Advisory Panels - Connectivity, Efficiency & Modernization, Health & Education, and Economic Revitalization - met between January and April of 2022 to review information and feedback from residents and prepare proposals for the most effective distribution of federal COVID-19 relief funds allocated to the Sunflower State through the American Rescue Plan.

“Friday’s action has allowed us to better define the resources that will be available in these four important areas that impact all Kansans,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “Now that the high-level decisions are made about investments in each of the four areas, we look forward to finalizing the program details so these dollars can flow to Kansas communities quickly.”

Kelly said the recommended $374 million in investments across the four panels include the following:

  • $35 million toward Connectivity
  • $100 million toward Efficiency and Modernization
  • $109 million toward Health and Education
  • $130 million toward Economic Revitalization

The Governor indicated that program details - including eligibility information and how to apply for funds - will be decided at a later date. Per the legislation which enacted the SPARK process, the Committee’s recommendations must now be approved by the State Finance Council before funds can be allocated and spent.