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On April 13, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) published instructions for state, tribal, and local governments to receive funding from the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund established by the CARES Act, which was enacted March 27, 2020. The CARES Act requires Treasury to disburse the funds within 30 days after the enactment, by April 26, 2020.

Application Requirements by Friday, April 17, 2020

Eligible state, tribal and local governments must complete a Treasury form by 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 17, 2020, in order to receive funding. View the form on the Treasury website.

Eligible local and tribal governments must also complete certifications, available through the same link. The chief executive of an eligible local government must certify that he or she is authorized by the government to make the representations in the form and that the funds will be used for the permitted purposes detailed below. An authorized official of an eligible tribal government must certify data about the tribe, including its population and land base, as well as other information about the number of employees and expenditures of each such tribal government or tribally-owned entity of such tribal government.

Eligibility and Allocation

All states, territories and the District of Columbia are eligible for funding, allocated based on 2019 Census Bureau data. View the amounts allocated to each. Of the $150 billion, $3 billion is reserved for the territories and the District of Columbia.

$8 billion is reserved for payments to tribal governments. Amounts paid to tribal governments will be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and Indian tribes using the information that the tribes will provide in their forms and certifications. Treasury will publish additional information on payments to tribes as it becomes available.

A unit of local government eligible for receipt of direct payment includes a county, municipality, town, township, village, parish, borough, or other unit of general government below the state level with a population that exceeds 500,000. Eligible local governments must submit the certification required by the CARES Act to Treasury by the April 17, 2020 deadline in order to receive payment. See a list of the 171 cities and counties that meet the population requirement.

The amount disbursed to a state government will be reduced by any amounts disbursed to local governments within the state. The amounts disbursed to a county government will be reduced by any amounts disbursed to the governments of any cities within the county. For the purpose of counting populations, the population of a city within a county will be counted for both the city and the county, but if both the city and the county apply for funding, the funding to the county will be based on the population of the county that lives outside the city.

Use of Funds

The CARES Act requires the payments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to be used only for expenses that:

  • are necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency;
  • were not accounted for in the eligible government’s most recently approved budget as of the date of enactment of the CARES Act (March 27, 2020); and
  • were incurred between on March 1, 2020 and Dec. 30, 2020.

The Inspector General of the Treasury will oversee the disbursement and use of funds. If a state, tribal or local government uses funds other than for the permitted purposes, the amount used improperly will be owed as a debt to the federal government.

For more information and updates on the developing situation, visit GT’s Health Emergency Preparedness Task Force: Coronavirus Disease 2019 or GT’s COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Team.