$404.8 Million in Flexible Federal Funds Unobligated 15 Months Before Deadline

The State of New Hampshire has budgeted almost all (99.8 percent) of the flexible federal  Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds provided by the American Rescue Plan Act. While the State has budgeted these funds, data from the U.S. Treasury Department show only $287.6 million (29 percent) had been spent by September 30, 2023 since they first started being received in May 2021. The average for all states reported at the end of March 2023 was 45 percent. New Hampshire’s spent figure was $33.8 million larger than the amount reported as already spent at the end of June 2023. Another $302.2 million (30 percent) had been obligated, but not yet spent, the end of September 2023; “obligated” indicates these funds are under contract, have been awarded to another entity, or are otherwise in a situation that requires payment. All funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024 to avoid being returned to the federal government, and must be spent by December 31, 2026.

Funding for New Hampshire’s budgeted projects, particularly those funded by the $404.8 million (41 percent) that are not yet obligated or spent, may have to be reallocated during 2024 to avoid the State needing to return these funds to the federal government. While these funds can be used relatively flexibly, the U.S. Treasury Department has encouraged states and local governments to use these funds to benefit long-term health and economic outcomes, and support people disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.