RI Foundation to release how state should spend $1B+ in federal stimulus funds


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Foundation will be releasing its recommendations to state leaders Tuesday morning about how the state should spend more than $1 billion in federal stimulus money.

The R.I. Foundation has spent the last six months coming up with ideas for how to use the funding wisely, and at 9:30 a.m. they will officially announce their recommendations.

President and CEO Neil Steinberg says this is a once-in-a-generation kind of money.

The money in question is the more than $1.1 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act that’s been awarded to the Ocean State with some strings attached. The R.I. Foundation announced in April it would be searching for 35 “big ideas” for how to use the money.

The goal is to find projects that have long-term benefits and invest in the Ocean State’s future, helping all Rhode Islanders, especially those impacted most by the pandemic.

“We’ve gotten input from more than 450 Rhode Islanders sending in ideas, we’ve had focus groups, we’ve met with many groups in specific areas…. background on what we think this $1.1 billion over three years that could take us into the future we recommend has the ‘best bang for its buck’ so to speak,” Steinberg said back in September.

After the R.I. Foundation releases its recommendations, they’ll be sent to Gov. Dan McKee and General Assembly, who will ultimately decide how the money will be spent.

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