Tentative $150 million ARPA Sacramento County spending plan outlined, approved

Sacramento County executive Ann Edwards said ARPA money will not be used on law enforcement. |   During the Tuesday, November 2 Sacramento C...

Sacramento County executive Ann Edwards said ARPA money will not be
used on law enforcement. |  

During the Tuesday, November 2 Sacramento County Board of Supervisors meeting, a spending plan was unveiled and unanimously approved for the county's first payment from the $300 million allocated under the America Rescue Plan Act.  

The plan was presented to the supervisors by county executive Ann Edwards for the first of two $150 million the county expects to receive from the COVID-19 recovery plan, or ARPA. The first $150 million payment is due in December, and the other in May 2022.

During her presentation, Edwards said the largest share, 39-percent, will be allocated to housing and homelessness. Other categories receiving funding are health and economic response, 13-percent each; administrative cost, 10-percent; county essential workers premium pay, eight percent; and supervisorial district allocations of 17-percent. 

More specific spending details will be presented and heard at future board meetings. 

Following public comments, Supervisor Phil Serna noted a couple of speakers asked the supervisors not to use the money for law enforcement. Serna then asked Edwards if law enforcement spending was included in the general plan.  

Serna was referencing last year's COVID-19 CARE rescue plan payments that former county executive Nav Gill controversially used on the Sacramento Sheriff's Department. The decision led to Gill's dismissal and extensive criticism directed at the five supervisors.   

"I think we can all understand in part where that comes from based on the experience last year," Serna said. 

Calling Gill's actions a "creative accounting scheme to balance the budget" Serna added, "this is an interest we cannot ignore."

Responding, Edwards said that law enforcement is not an eligible category unless used to rehire laid-off public safety personnel, which has not happened in Sacramento County.

"I don't have any vision in my planning moving forward that we would be funding law enforcement," Edwards said. "That's just not something that I have considered." 

The specific spending plans are scheduled to return to the supervisors no later than January, and projects will start next year. 

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