Cook County's American Rescue Plan


Cook County's American Rescue Plan

Cook County received $1 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to help with COVID-19 recovery and beyond. With extensive input from residents, we have prioritized funding to address the most pressing needs.

About Cook County’s American Rescue Plan

The American Rescue Plan Act is one of the most impactful pieces of federal legislation passed since the New Deal nearly a century ago. Cook County is in a unique position to invest the great majority of these federal dollars due to more than a decade of fiscally sound measures. Over $700 million is going directly to communities, giving County residents and businesses a rare opportunity to support long-term, equitable, transformative programs.


    Cook County’s recovery priorities are aligned with the County’s Policy Roadmap pillars: Health and Wellness (Healthy Communities), Safety and Justice (Safe and Thriving Communities), Economic Development (Vital Communities), Climate Resiliency (Sustainable Communities), Infrastructure and Technology (Smart Communities), and Good Government (Open Communities). This includes transformative programs such as the Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot, the Medical Debt Relief Initiative, and Gun Violence Prevention programs.

    Download ARPA-At-A-Glance Here

    Community Engagement

    Community input has been essential for ensuring American Rescue Plan funding best meets the needs of Cook County residents. Cook County conducted a broad community engagement process beginning with its website, an online survey for the public to outline funding priorities, door-to-door canvassing and numerous virtual public meetings.

    Programs being put forward over the next three years are the product of countless meetings, thousands of community responses, and hundreds of policy ideas.

    Download the Community Engagement Report Here

    Equity and Inclusion

    To guide our American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) spending plan, Cook County used the socio-economic outcomes to advance racial equity outlined in For Love of Country as an aspirational guide for setting a vision for addressing systemic barriers and reducing racial inequity. As Cook County developed its ARPA Spending Plan, the Cook County Equity Fund Taskforce provided input on key funding needs. Additionally, some members of the Cook County Equity Fund Taskforce submitted independent ARPA proposals or advised bureaus and departments under the Offices of the President on ARPA proposal development. Importantly, the Cook County Equity Fund Taskforce intentionally linked ARPA Spending Plan input to recommendations related to structural and systemic transformation. By recommending ARPA initiatives provide seed funding for planning and program design, the Cook County Equity Fund Taskforce could focus policy recommendations on sustaining the positive outcomes of these programs.

    ARPA Initiative Spotlights

    Cook County has launched 74 programs with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. Some of our more transformative initiatives are spotlighted here, and will continue to be updated as new programs roll out. 

    Medical Debt Relief Initiative

    Under the leadership of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, we’ve created the Cook County Medical Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) with funding from the American Rescue Plan.

    Build Up Cook

    Through Build Up Cook, Cook County is leveraging our staff, resources, and experience to support historic federal investments in public infrastructure by working hand-in-hand with our partner municipalities. 


    Violence Prevention

    Cook County is committed to reducing our justice-involved population while also making significant investments to improve public safety.


    Our Progress

    The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law on March 11th, 2021. Recipients (including Cook County) have until December 31st, 2024, to obligate their funds, and until December 31st, 2026, to spend all funds.

    The dashboard below provides real time data and transparency into when and where ARPA funds are disbursed. Please note that you will find a drill down of each of our pillar priorities on the second page of the dashboard and by clicking on the corresponding pillar. Some of our programs are highlighted on this website, and you can find more information on our pillars in the "Investing in Communities" section. (dashboard is best viewed on desktop)

    ARPA Dashboard