April 7, 2021 by David Silverberg
On March 8, the amounts of funding being allocated to US states, counties and municipalities under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan were released to the public by the US House Oversight Committee.
Among its many provisions, including the $1,400 checks to individuals and families, the American Rescue Plan is intended to help local governments hurt by the pandemic, the resulting economic slowdown and loss of revenue.
Florida is slated to receive $17.6 billion, of which $10.2 billion will be going to the state government.
When the Plan was being considered in Congress, Republicans vociferously resisted passage of the legislation, especially the provision assisting state, county and municipal governments. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) has called on Florida’s governments to return the checks.
According to an April 4 article in the Naples Daily News, “American Rescue Plan to bring more than $300M to Southwest Florida,” local officials in Lee and Collier counties have not yet decided how to spend their allocations and were unsure of the procedure for receiving the money.
What follows below are the amounts being allocated to the various counties and local governments under the Plan, arranged by Southwest Florida’s congressional districts. Because congressional districts overlap county lines, each county is listed only once even though the districts may include pieces of different counties.
All of Southwest Florida’s representatives in Congress voted against the Plan.
19th Congressional District
Represented by Rep. Byron Donalds (R).
The 19th Congressional District covers the coastal area from Cape Coral to Marco Island and includes the most heavily populated areas of Lee and Collier counties.
Donalds denounced the American Rescue Plan in the House Budget Committee and on the floor of the House, calling it “nothing more than a liberal wish list.”
- Collier County: $74.65 million
- Lee County: $149.45 million
Cities and towns
- Bonita Springs: $25.06 million
- Cape Coral: $26.87 million
- Estero Village: $14.23 million
- Everglades City: $.18 million
- Fort Myers: $16 million
- Fort Myers Beach: $2.98 million
- Marco Island: $2.13 million
- Naples: $9.28 million
- Sanibel city: $3.11 million
25th Congressional District
Represented by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R).
The 25th Congressional District stretches from western Collier County east of the coast, includes all of Hendry County and a piece of northwestern Miami-Dade County.
Diaz-Balart called the American Rescue Plan “this fake COVID bill.”
- Hendry County: $8.15 million
- Miami-Dade County: $526.93 million
- Collier County: (already listed)
Cities and towns
- Clewiston: $3.37 million
- Doral: $27.63 million
- Hialeah: $70.61 million
- LaBelle: $2.19 million
Immokalee is the largest population center in eastern Collier County. However, because it is an unincorporated community without a local government it is governed through Collier County and does not have a designated allocation.
17th Congressional District
Represented by Rep. Greg Steube (R).
The 17th Congressional District is a huge district of over 6,300 square miles stretching from eastern Tampa Bay to the northwestern shore of Lake Okeechobee. It includes all of Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands and Okeechobee counties, plus parts of Lee (northern Lehigh Acres), Polk and Sarasota counties. Municipalities include North Port, Punta Gorda, Venice, and Okeechobee.
Steube complained that with the Plan, “Democrats chose to turn our nation into a welfare state with more government handouts.”
- Charlotte: $36.64 million
- DeSoto: $7.37 million
- Glades: $2.68 million
- Hardee: $5.22 million
- Highlands: $20.60 million
- Okeechobee: $8.18 million
- Lee (already provided)
- Polk: $140.57 million
- Sarasota: $84.12 million
Towns and cities
- North Port: $29.72 million
- Punta Gorda: $8.56 million
- Venice: $10.08 million
- Okeechobee: $2.44 million
Port Charlotte in Charlotte County is an unincorporated entity governed by the county and so has no specific allocation.
Liberty lives in light
© 2021 by David Silverberg