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States and localities got $350 billion. Here’s how they’re spending it on IT

August 17, 2021

Five months after President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act into law, state and local governments’ plans for how to use $350 billion in relief funding are starting to take shape. And inside IT agencies, many officials are finding themselves newly flush with cash.

That sensation is a turnaround from the outlook in the COVID-19 pandemic’s early days, when forecasts of bottomed-out budgets fueled fears that the health crisis would stymie innovation and slow down modernization projects. And while the March 2020 CARES Act sent states $150 billion to help them pay for their coronavirus responses — including equipping remote workers and scaling up unemployment systems — chief information officers still entered 2021 bracing for reduced spending.

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