Legislative Update: Proposed Distribution for Federal COVID-19 Aid
One of the tasks facing the legislature in the Special Session is how to distribute $841 million of Federal CARES Act funding to local governments. Senate File 47 proposes a distribution model in which townships, cities, and counties receive funding for COVID-19 related operating expenses.Use of these funds are restricted to the purposes allowed by Federal law, as we described in this article.
The bill uses population as the measure of the maximum funding available to a town, allowing a township to receive up to $25 per person in the township. If it passes, the initial funding would be distributed by June 30, 2020, and claims for reimbursement could be made until September 15, 2020. The funds must be used for an eligible expense by November 15, 2020, and any unused amount must be returned to the county by November 20, 2020.
All towns would be eligible for CARES Act funding, however, only towns over 199 in population would receive a direct payment from the State for expenses. Towns with population under 200 would need to apply to the county for reimbursement of their COVID-19 related expenses. With proper documentation of expenses, the county must pay the township the amount claimed.
The bill appears to have bi-partisan support and represent a compromise between the House and Senate on the issue. The Senate passed its version of the bill on June 16, and the bill is now in committee in the House.