Ige Breaks Down Allocation of American Rescue Plan Act Funds

Listen to this Article
1 minute
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

All $1.6 billion given to the state through the federal American Rescue Plan Act have been allocated, Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday, Jan. 18. The ARPA funds were to be used for emergency response stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID resulted in a global economic shutdown, which had devastating consequences on our state. We were force to cut many programs and services, state workers were at risk of being furloughed, our hospital system was overwhelmed, our tourism industry was shut down, and our economy was on the brink of collapse,” Ige said. “At the same time, there was greater demand for essential government services and social safety nets. ARPA funds helped us pivot.”

During a press conference Tuesday, Ige said funds were focused on supporting critical services, response to COVID-19 public health emergency, and promoting economic recovery and ensuring equitable outcomes for those hit hard by the pandemic.

A major portion of ARPA funds supported the Department of Labor & Industrial Relations’ Unemployment Insurance Program, to support and provide a safety net for the thousands of individuals who were without jobs during the pandemic.

$70M – UI call and adjudication center
$800M – UI loan repayment


In Igeʻs supplemental budget, he notes continued support in fiscal year 2023 with ARPA funds.

The state spent a large amount of ARPA funds supporting state hospitals, emergency medical services and COVID-19 response.

$32M – HI Health Systems Corporation
$84M – EMS and injury prevention
$16M – HI Health Systems Oʻahu Region
$2.9M – Wahiawa Hospital Services
$11M – Maui Health System hospital subsidy
$10M – COVID-19 test kits
$8M – Department of Health, COVID administrative support
$50M – Department of Public Safety, strengthen COVID response

ARPA funds were used to keep the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority intact while the pandemic heavily impacted the visitor industry. HTA used these funds to restructure operations and focus more on promoting more sustainable tourism to Hawaiʻi. Funds were also dedicated to creating the Safe Travels program to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.


$60M – HTA
$11M – Convention Center
$41M – Safe Travels Hawaiʻi

ARPA funds also went to supporting services within communities including:

$10.8M – Homeless services
$1.5M – Senior centers
$1.3M – Family health services

ARPA funds also went to supporting education in the state.


$28M – University of Hawaiʻi System
$1.3M – Financial need scholarships (HI Promise Program)

ARPA funds also supported Broadband initiatives, which are included in Ige’s supplemental budget request.

$1.5M – Broadband infrastructure planning
$2.7M – Modernize financial system

“The pandemic showed us that there is a huge digital divide in our state, and that access to reliable and high-speed internet is essential for all students and workers. We anticipate additional federal funding this year through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed earlier this year, and potentially other federal sources. We will continue to use these funds to restore and rebuild our state this coming year,” said Gov. Ige.

For a complete list of awards and programs supported with these federal funds, visit: COVID-19 Awards and Awards Received by State Departments.

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments