Town Hall #17

“Helicopter Money”

“American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 – Impact on Central Iowa

Wednesday, April 14, at 4:30 PM

In 1969, Milton Friedman wrote: “Let us suppose now that one day a helicopter flies over this community and drops an additional $1,000 in bills from the sky, which is, of course, hastily collected by members of the community.”

The “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021” will essentially drop $1.88 trillion on us and our communities. The full bill can be found at:

It appears that the helicopter is going to drop an estimated $95,060,000 on Polk County, $94,550,000 on Des Moines, and $9,340,000 on Ankeny. Other “drops” can be found at:

Topics considered:

  • How much is $1.88 Trillion?
  • An overview of the Act
  • How can counties, cities, and schools use the money?
  • Things on which the money can NOT be used.
  • Funding for mental health, transportation, etc.
  • Dialog


  • Alan Kemp, Executive Director, Iowa League of Cities
  • Phil Jeneary, Government Relations Director, Iowa Association of School Boards
  • Tom Cooley, Bureau Chief, Iowa Department of Education