COVID-19 Stimulus Bill: What It Means For States!

NCLS.org, Posted April 7th 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) provides an estimated $2 trillion stimulus package to battle the harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A few highlights of what’s included in the package: 

  • Creates a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund for state, local and tribal governments. See estimated state allocations courtesy of Federal Funds Information for States.
  • $30 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund for states, school districts and institutions of higher education for costs related to the coronavirus. 
  • $45 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund for the immediate needs of state, local, tribal and territorial governments to protect citizens and help them respond and recover from the overwhelming effects of COVID-19.
  • $1.4 billion for deployments of the National Guard. This level of funding will sustain up to 20,000 members of the National Guard, under the direction of the governors of each state, for the next six months in order to support state and local response efforts.
  • An additional $4.3 billion, thorough the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to support federal, state and local public health agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus.
  • Requires the Department of Homeland Security to extend the Real ID deadline for full implementation by states from Oct. 1, 2020, to no earlier than Sept. 30, 2021. DHS subsequently announced that the new deadline would be Oct. 1, 2021.
  • $25 billion for transit systems. Click here for specific funding amounts determined by the Federal Transit Administration which are now available for use. These funds are being distributed through existing formulas including the Urbanized Area Formula Grants, Formula Grants for Rural Areas, State of Good Repair Formula Grants and Growing and High-Density States Formula Grants using fiscal year 2020 apportionment formulas.
  • $400 million in election security grants to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus in the 2020 federal election cycle. States must provide an accounting to the Election Assistance Commission of how the funds were spent within 20 days of any 2020 election.
  • Expands unemployment insurance from three to four months, and provides temporary unemployment compensation of $600 per week, which is in addition to and the same time as regular state and federal UI benefits.
  • Establishes a $500 billion lending fund for businesses, cities and states.
  • Provides a $1,200 direct payment to many Americans and $500 for each dependent child.

Here is NCSL’s summary of provisions impacting states. NCSL will provide additional information on the distribution of specific funds as guidance becomes available. Please don’t hesitate to contact NCSL with any questions.

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