If you’re interested in the public safety space, you’ll likely be interested in a new report. It shows that 26 states have decided to spend discretionary money from the economic stimulus law on public safety. The total amount: 2.56-billion-dollars. (Yes, billion with a “b”.)
The money comes from what’s called the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF). SFSF is managed by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), not what you would think would be a likely source for public safety money. The writers of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) included a discreet clause that allowed governors to spend a portion of their stabilization funds on “public safety or other government services”. The portion was only 18.2%, but the total amounted to 9.8-billion-dollars. (Yes, another “b”.)
States have been trying to decide how to spend their stabilization funds. Some have made their decisions quite awkwardly. Others have yet to decide. Of those who’ve made their plans known, 26 say they’ll spend at least a portion of their 18.2% on public safety. The largest public safety spenders are California, Georgia, North Carolina, Washington, and Alabama.
It may not be too late to influence the other states, and certainly not too late to get in front of opportunities that will be funded by the stabilization funds. Keep us informed how it works for you.