Not having enough money to pay for something can make life more difficult, but it also simplifies things. New funding prompted by the pandemic brings with it new considerations of which projects to prioritize and what the Treasury Department allows the funding to be spent on, to say nothing of doing the actual work of implementing many new projects. In the case of our public institutions, the work funded by the American Rescue Plan and other recent relief deals can be extensive. Organizations are overhauling massive systems and rethinking business processes left untouched for decades.
Things are moving fast and there’s a lot to consider. Here’s what some of the leaders in state and local government — and higher education — are thinking and doing as they prepare for an influx of funding.