U.S. Treasury Releases Guidance on the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund


KEY POINTS

  • The U.S. Treasury released additional guidance on the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund program.
  • Of the $350 billion in funding, $195.3 billion will go to the States, $65.1 to the counties, $45.6 to metropolitan cities, and $4.5 billion to U.S. territories. 
  • In this article, we’ll go over who is eligible and how you can apply for funding. 

Healthcare staff, nurses and doctors as well as other essential workers may get premium pay for working amid the increased risks of the pandemic from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.

The Treasury Department recently released additional guidance on the $350 billion State and Local Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds program which was established in March with the passage of the American Rescue Plan. The new guidance establishes eligibility criteria, six main usage categories, and provides information on what you need to apply. 

As of May 10th, eligible states, metropolitan cities, counties, territories, and tribal governments can apply for the funds through the Treasury Submission Portal. 

Funding Program Overview

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds are intended to provide substantial assistance for states, metropolitan cities, counties, U.S. territories, and tribal governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding allows local governments to support public health needs, recuperate lost revenue, and best support the needs of their communities.

How much will each sector receive?

Guidance released by the Treasury Department states that a total of $220 billion will be provided to state, tribal, and territory governments:

  • $169.8 billion – States and the District of Columbia (based on the rate of unemployment)
  • $25.5 billion – States and the District of Columbia equally 
  • $20 billion – Tribal governments
  • $4.5 billion – U.S. Territories

Local governments will be receiving a total of $130 billion in funding: 

  • $65 billion – Counties (based on population)
  • $45.57 billion – Metropolitan cities (based on an amount consistent with the CDBG formula
  • $19.5 billion – State-based allocations to nonmetropolitan local governments (based on population)

What can the funds be used for?

The Treasury Department’s approved uses of the funding include: 

  1. To support COVID-19 related health expenditures which include
  • Mitigation efforts – vaccination programs, contact tracing, testing services, PPE expenses, support for prevention and mitigation services in schools, public health surveillance, etc. 
  • Behavioral Healthcare Services – mental health treatment, crisis intervention, hotlines, substance abuse services, etc. 
  • Pay and Benefits – for public sector, healthcare, and similar employees. You may use these funds to help cover a portion or even full payroll and benefits costs for employees that have been or are currently supporting pandemic response efforts.
  1. To replace lost Public Sector revenue:
  • To calculate how much lost revenue was incurred during the pandemic, the Treasury recommends using the Interim Final Rule methodology. It compares your last full fiscal year revenues before the pandemic and projects at either your average annual growth over the last three full fiscal years before the pandemic or the national average state and local growth rate from 2015 – 2018 which was 4.1%. 
  • Note: the funds can not be used for debt payments
  1. To aid in the response of negative economic impacts which include: 
  • Public Sector Revitalization – by rehiring public sector employees that were let go amid the pandemic, replenishing UI trust funds, and implementing relief programs. 
  • Small Business Support and Aiding in the Recovery of Travel & Tourism – providing financial support via loans, grants, in-kind assistance, and counseling programs to reopen those that closed during the pandemic, to aid in developing and implementing COVID-19 prevention and mitigation plans, and to help them rebound. 
  • Individual and Household Support – unemployment aid, job training, survivor benefits for family members of COVID-19 victims, as well as aid for food, housing, or other financial insecurities due to the pandemic.
  1. To provide premium pay to essential workers:
  • The funding may be used to provide premium pay through grants to employers, or directly to essential workers who continued to work amid the increased pandemic risks which include: 
    • Employees at grocery stores, restaurants, farms, and food production facilities
    • Janitors and sanitation workers
    • Staff at hospitals, nursing homes, and in-home care 
    • Public health and safety staff
    • Truck drivers, public transit staff, and warehouse employees
    • Childcare workers, educators, and school staff
    • Social services and human services staff
  1. To serve communities and families that were hit the hardest.
  2. To make any necessary investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

While the Treasury provided the above six categories as eligible uses of the recovery funds, there is flexibility in how you may use the funds to best meet the needs of your community. For more information regarding the use of the funds, please refer to the Treasury’s Regulations for Fiscal Recovery Funds. 

How do I know if my local area is eligible?

To find out if your local town or area is eligible for the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds and how much you’ve been allocated, please see the Treasury Department’s allocation information: 

Smaller local governments with a population of less than 50,000, are considered “non-entitlement units of local government”. Those that fall into this category will not receive direct assistance from the federal government, but rather through your state government. For more information, please see the Treasury’s Fiscal Recovery Funds for Non-Entitlement Units

How can I apply for funding?

If you’re eligible, you can apply for the funds directly from the Treasury Department using the Treasury Submission Portal. 

Conclusion

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