Missourians Can Track Use of Federal Funds on State’s ARPA Website
Dear Citizens– The state operating budget approved by the Missouri General Assembly was recently signed into law and now Missourians can track the use of federal funds allocated under the plan. Gov. Mike Parson announced the State’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) website now includes information on several new grant programs that were signed into law, as well as a detailed overview of all planned uses of ARPA State Fiscal Recovery Funds as provided for in HB 3020.
The website first launched in May with limited information about water, wastewater, stormwater, and lead service line inventory grant programs. Several more grant programs will begin accepting applications in the coming weeks. New grant programs include those for agriculture innovation and workforce development, private MoExcels projects, workforce training, and broadband infrastructure. The remaining grant programs will begin accepting applications over the next couple of months.
The General Assembly also added five new grant programs with the passage of HB 3020. The new programs includegrants to port authorities ($25M), grants to local county law enforcement and county prosecutors ($1M), grants to innovative projects to promote agriculture in urban/suburban communities ($50k), Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority biofuel grants ($4M), and county jail improvement grants ($10M). Additional information on these grant programs, including application timeframes, will be added to the website in the coming weeks as program details are developed.
ARPA and associated federal regulations outline specific categories of allowable spending for the ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. The eligible categories of spending include projects or programs that support public health expenditures; address negative economic impacts caused by COVID-19; replace lost public sector revenue; or invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure. The state’s website for ARPA funding information and opportunities can be viewed at the following link:https://moarpa.mo.gov/.
Missourians Urged to Check for Unclaimed Property – Missourians are once again being encouraged to check for any unclaimed property. The Missouri State Treasurer has launched his annual effort to return unclaimed property to more than 129,400 individuals, small businesses, and non-profit organizations.
The State Treasurer listed the names of Missourians with unclaimed property in more than 100 publications across the state. Missourians can also also search and view the lists by county on ShowMeMoney.com.
County lists are accessible at the following link: https://treasurer.mo.gov/UCP/2022-New-Unclaimed-Property-Account-Owner-Lists-by-County.aspx. St. Louis County has the largest list of names with 28,449 names while Worth County has the shortest list with only 30 names.
Most Unclaimed Property consists of cash from bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned. It can also include uncollected insurance policy proceeds, government refunds, utility deposits, and wages from past jobs. The State Treasurer currently manages over $1 billion in unclaimed assets in more than five million owner accounts. One in ten Missourians has Unclaimed Property, and the average return is nearly $300.
Missourians Warned About Messaging Scams – The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is warning individuals about potential messaging scams involving Missouri’s unemployment program. The department is advising Missourians to be wary of suspicious email or text messages, as well as any links they contain. Text messages from the department will never include links.
The scams often involve email or text messages attempting to acquire personal information from individuals to gain access to funds or commit identity theft. Phishing messages often ask for personal information such as social security number, birthdate, PIN number, or other data. These messages may appear to have been sent by the Missouri Department of Labor, the Division of Employment Security, a banking institution or other entity.
Anyone unsure if a message about Missouri’s unemployment program is legitimate is encouraged to contact the department for verification. Individuals may speak to a representative by calling 800-320-2519. They can also submit a request online at https://laboranswers.mo.gov/hc/en-us/requests/new.
For more information, contact Representative Patricia Pike at Patricia.Pike@house.mo.gov or call 573-751-5388.