As part of the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic as a national emergency, the CARES Act makes funding available to state and local governmental entities through a variety of programs. The primary mechanisms through which financial assistance will be provided include increased funding to existing programs and grants, funding through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, and direct loans, as further detailed below.
This division of the CARES Act primarily funds existing programs and grants and expands their criteria to include those affected by COVID-19. Specific programs, grants and funding are further detailed below.
$850 million will be distributed/awarded pursuant to the formula allocation that was used in fiscal year 2019 for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program.
Provides $45 billion to the Disaster Relief Fund administered by FEMA.
Provides $3.5 billion in funding for Child Care and Development Block Grant.
Provides for $100 billion in funding to the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund.
Provides for $1 billion in funding to carry out services under the Community Services Block Grant Act.
Provides $750 million in additional Head Start funding to allow programs to meet emergency staffing needs where necessary.
Provides for $30.75 billion in funding for Education Stabilization Fund.
Funds are distributed as follows:
$8.8 billion will be distributed to the Child Nutrition Programs (which includes the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Special Milk Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Summer Food Service Program) to fund food purchases and demonstration projects for schools through September 30, 2021 to account for and respond to the impact of COVID-19.
$15.8 billion will be distributed to SNAP through September 30, 2021 to account for and respond to the virus.
$1.5 billion in additional funding for the Economic Development Assistance Programs to be available until September 30, 2022 through the Department of Commerce.
$450 million to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, for the emergency food assistance program; to be available until September 30, 2021.
Provides for $150 billion to states, the District of Columbia, US territories, and local and tribal governments. Allocation is based on population, with a minimum of $1.25 billion per state that is to be divided between state governments and local general governments. Local governments with populations of 500,000 or greater can receive their allocation directly (eligible governments). A local government includes a county, municipality, town, township, village, parish, borough, or other unit of general government below the state level. All local governments with populations less than 500,000 will receive their allocation from the state.
In order to receive a payment under this section, eligible governments shall provide the Secretary with a certification signed by the Chief Executive for the unit of government and that government’s proposed uses of the funds consistent with the three uses of funds highlighted above.
Eligible governments must provide payment information and supporting documentation electronically by 11:59pm EDT by April 17, 2020.
The Secretary of the Treasury will pay to each state, local and tribal government their allocation directly, on or before April 26, 2020.
Provides for $454 billion, as well as any amounts available but not used for direct lending, for loans, guarantees, and investments in support of the Federal Reserve’s lending facility to eligible businesses, states and municipalities. These loans will not be subject to loan forgiveness. The process for distribution of these loans is still under development.
While certain details related to distribution of funding under the CARES Act are still forthcoming, based on guidance available to date, the allowable activities and most other compliance requirements of the existing funding sources remain the same. To maximize available funding, governmental entities are encouraged to take action on the following:
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a constantly-changing situation for governmental entities of every size. As future legislation is developed, guidance is updated, and additional challenges and opportunities are uncovered, P&N’s dedicated professionals are committed to understanding and applying this information to help our clients.
Please keep in mind that due to the quickly-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, you should always seek advice on your agency’s specific situation. If you need assistance, please contact us.