Project portal closure and top focus areas
Demand for Oklahoma’s available American Rescue Plan Act funds exceeded expectations and available funding.
To hear from as many voices and interested parties as possible, the State of Oklahoma invited the public to submit projects through its ARPA website since Oct. 1, 2021. The overwhelming response both from the general public and government entities prompted the Joint Committee on Pandemic Relief to suspend new application submissions on Thursday, March 31, 2022, to focus on the projects received so far. Since the opening of the portal, a total of 1,439 projects have been submitted for consideration, with a total value exceeding $17.904 billion. This total is more than $16 billion over the state’s allocation from the federal government.
Projects go through a thoughtful and rigorous joint executive and legislative branch selection process of eligibility review and priority is given to projects aligned to the state’s goals to:
- Build a stronger, more innovative, and more diverse economy for Oklahoma.
- Enhance capabilities of services for the well-being of all citizens, especially the most vulnerable.
- Invest in physical and digital infrastructure to expand opportunities across Oklahoma.
“It’s been amazing to see the tremendous response we’ve received from Oklahomans on ideas and projects,” said Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah. “We want to thank all Oklahomans for being engaged in this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make strategic investments and help define our pandemic recovery path.”
As project applications were submitted, many aligned with the shared vision of the Joint Committee to benefit future generations while improving services for all Oklahomans.
Project submissions immensely helped confirm the state’s priority areas that include:
- Behavioral health.
- Healthcare and Human Services workforce.
- Workforce development.
- Economic development.
- Health IT and data.
- Water and sewer infrastructure.
- State IT infrastructure.
- Supporting non-profits.
Projects that do not align with these priority areas may be considered at a later time.
“The quantity and quality of the diverse projects received through the portal have been great,” said Rep. Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston. “Our legislative working groups will continue working hard to get through the evaluation stages within the priority areas.”
Gov. Kevin Stitt added, “I’d like to thank my legislative partners on the Joint Committee for establishing an unprecedented public engagement process. Because of the portal on the state’s ARPA website, we have a clearer understanding of how to invest in the transformational projects that will benefit every corner of the state.”
Individuals and organizations with projects in the portal can continue to track your project through the ARPA portal or watch for emails as the state will provide status updates as projects move through the review process. Those with questions not related to project status can email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.