July 2021

At the center of the West Virginia state capitol is an area known as “The Well.” It is the informal gathering place for lobbyists, reporters, constituents and lawmakers. Centrally located between the chambers of the House of Delegates and Senate, The Well is often where information is shared, alliances are formed and deals are made.


Good afternoon. As state governments, including West Virginia, begin receiving the first allocations of $193.5 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, we thought we would take a look at the ways in which these funds might be deployed by the state and local governments to address the economic consequences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this edition, we look at how the State of West Virginia can put ARPA funds to use and how government officials might be able to lean on non-profits to aid state and local recovery efforts.


Beyond the Dome


West Virginia and American Rescue Plan Act Funds


By Brian Skinner, Esq.

State governments, including West Virginia, are beginning to receive the first allocations from $193.5 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The ARPA, signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, establishes the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund. The Fiscal Recovery Funds are intended to provide support to State, local, and Tribal governments in responding to the impact of COVID-19 and in their efforts to contain COVID-19 on their communities, residents, and businesses.

ARPA represents the single largest state government aid package since the pandemic began and is the latest in a series of laws providing unprecedented federal emergency support to states. In addition to the $193.5 billion in flexible aid, ARPA provides states with separate funding for targeted uses, such as COVID-19 vaccine distribution, safe operation of schools, and substance abuse programs.

Read more . . .


New Report Explains How Governments Can Leverage Federal Funds to Partner with Local Nonprofits


By Brian Skinner, Esq. 

The National Council of Nonprofits has issued a report on how state and local governments can partner with nonprofit organizations in their communities to use relief funds distributed through the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) by expanding existing programs or creating new ones.

Congress expressly declared in the ARPA that state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments may use their allocations of the $350 billion in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to provide “assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or to aid impacted industries.”

This new report explains that Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds “are substantial, but not limitless; governments need to adopt reasonable selection criteria to ensure they apply fair guiding principles for spending the money to secure the greatest impact for the public good.”

Read more . . .


On the Agenda




September 12, 13, 14


October 10, 11, 12


November 14, 15, 16


December 5, 6, 7


Sine Die


“We have a lottery that basically says, ‘if you’re vaccinated, we’re going to give you stuff.’ You’ve got another lottery going on, and it’s the death lottery.”


Gov. Jim Justice talking about reluctance among some people to get vaccinated during a weekend appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”