More than 40 Michigan communities are turning down federal pandemic funds allocated to states from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which passed earlier this year.
The American Rescue Plan offered $644 million in funds to smaller towns and cities in Michigan, but each municipality is required to either accept the funds or to reject them.
A number of communities did not respond to state requests on the funds, while some flat out rejected the funding, totaling about $4 million in funding. The rejected funding will be allocated to communities that accepted the pandemic relief.
The funding was allocated to local municipalities to help prepare them for future emergencies and to help boost local economic investments. There’s a wide range of uses for the funding, as long as it fits federal criteria set in the American Rescue Plan, including vaccinations, bonus pay for health workers, revenue loss and more.
Most of the communities on the list are rural and/or conservative leaning, according to election results, with all but one going to former President Donald Trump in 2020.
In the U.P., Franklin Township Supervisor Mary Sears told Bridge Michigan that dealing with the funding requirements wasn’t worth the time.
“There’s too many things you have to comply with in order to accept that money, and we don’t need it,” she said. “It’s not like it’s life and death for us, you know?”
Here’s the full list of communities that either didn’t respond or rejected: