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July 9, 2021

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Attorney General Steve Marshall Urges State and Local Appropriators to Prioritize American Rescue Plan Funds for Violent Crime Reduction

(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Steve Marshall urges state and local appropriators to prioritize American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for violent crime reduction.

In separate letters Wednesday, Attorney General Marshall highlighted for state and local officials an interpretation from the U.S. Department of the Treasury that its Interim Final Rule on the American Rescue Plan permits the funds to be used to respond to increased violent crime. The Attorney General further called for a state and local partnership, wherein local governments would receive matching funds from the state for any ARPA funds dedicated to fighting crime.

“On June 23, the Treasury Department issued an updated ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ document that includes a welcomed provision authorizing the use of these funds to reduce violent crime – and gun violence, specifically – that has increased ‘due to the pandemic,'” wrote Attorney General Marshall.

“As is true nationwide, many areas of our great state have recently experienced surges in violent crime. Accordingly, I urge you to employ your Rescue Plan funds in the fight against this dangerous lawlessness.”

Writing to state appropriators, the Attorney General requested that a portion of the state’s ARPA funds be set aside to match any local ARPA funds spent to combat violent crime. He noted, “The entire state will reap the benefits of decreased crime; thus, encouraging local governments to prioritize crime reduction by offering a state match is a responsible and worthy use of the state share.”

“We can all agree that every Alabamian has the right to live free from the fear of violence, no matter their county, city or ZIP code. The American Rescue Plan gives us a rare opportunity to convert funds borne out of a reckless federal spending scheme into a meaningful investment in public safety.”

Marshall also encouraged local officials to seek input from their local law enforcement communities on investment opportunities. “Should you decide to prioritize the use of your Rescue Plan funds for the purpose of fighting violent crime and improving public safety, I recommend that you engage your local prosecutors and law enforcement officers in this discussion,” he wrote.

The State of Alabama is expected to receive $2.1 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act, while Alabama’s cities and counties are expected to receive $1.7 billion.

Attorney General Marshall’s letters to state and local officials can be read here.

Link to U.S. Treasury ARPA Rule

Link to U.S. Treasury ARPA FAQ

[For links, click PDF icon at upper right of press release]