With the enactment of the 2021 American Rescue Plan, we would like to share with you the key features of the latest stimulus impacting governments and non-profits:
State and Local Governments
$350 billion will be provided to state, counties, cities and tribal governments to help them recover from the financial burden of increased expenditures and lost revenues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. State and local government recipients can use these funds for incurred costs by December 31, 2024. Funds are to be distributed in two installments with 50% to be delivered to states within 60 days and the remainder to be distributed no earlier than one year later. States are required to distribute funds to smaller towns within 30 days, and a town cannot receive more than 75% of its budget as of January 27th, 2020.
The following is a breakdown of the specific funding amounts that will be allocated to governments:
- $65.1 billion for counties
- $45.6 billion for metropolitan cities
- $19.5 million for towns with fewer than 50,000 people
In addition, $10 billion has been allocated to a Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund to support COVID-19 work, education, and health monitoring.
Funds can be used by government entities for the following purposes:
- Aid to households, small businesses, non-profits, and other industries impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic
- Provide premium pay to essential employees or grants to employers. Premium pay cannot exceed $13/hour or $25,000 per worker.
- Support government services affected by a reduction in revenue from COVID-19
- Make investments in water, sewer, and broadbrand infrastructure.
- Funds can be transferred by state and local governments to private non-profit groups, public benefit corporations involved in passenger or cargo transportation, and special purpose units of state or local governments.
- Funds cannot be used towards pensions or to offset revenue resulting from a tax cut enacted since March 3, 2021.
- $122.7 billion will be provided to the existing Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESEA) to remain available through September 30, 2023. State Education Agencies (SEAs) must distribute at least 90% of funds to Local Education Agencies (LEA) based on their proportional share of ESEA Title I-A funds. SEA’s must use their allocations in the following manner: 5% to address learning loss, 1% for afterschool activities, and 1% for summer learning programs. SEA’s must spend funds within one year of receipt.
- 20% of funding used by LEA’s must be used to address learning loss with the remaining funds to be used for: repairs of ventilation systems, reduction of class sizes and implementation of social distancing guidelines, the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and the hiring of support staff to care for students’ health and well-being. School districts must create and share plans publicly for returning to in-person instruction within 30 days. LEA’s cannot cut per-pupil spending nor reduce per-pupil staffing for any high-poverty school at a rate more than overall cuts in per-pupil spending and staffing across all schools served by the LEA. Note this requirement is not applicable if an LEA serves less than 1,000 students or operates as a single school, or serves all students in a single grade span in one school or is granted a waiver by the Secretary of Education.
- With respect to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), $3.03 billion has been provided with $2.58 billion for grants to states, $200 million for pre-school grants under IDEA, and $250 million for programs for infants and toddlers.
- $2.75 billion has been provided through the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools Program to provide services or assistance to non-public schools that enroll a significant percentage of low-income students and are most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- $800 million to support school participation of children and youth experiencing homelessness including wrap-around services
- $40 billion through the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund with $36 billion allocated to public and private non-profits to remain available through September 30, 2023. At least 50% of funds must be spent on emergency financial aid grants provided directly to students, with the remaining funds to be used for the replacement of lost revenue, reimbursement for emergency expenses, and more. Funds are to be specifically allocated as follows:
- 37.5% based on full-time equivalent enrollment of Federal Pell Grant recipients
- 37.5% based on headcount enrollment of Pell recipients
- 11.5% based on FTE enrollment of non-Pell recipients
- 11.5% based on headcount enrollment of non-Pell recipients
- 1% based on the relative share of FTE enrollment of students who were Federal Pell Grant recipients and who were exclusively enrolled in distance education courses prior to the qualifying emergency.
- 1% based on the relative share of the total number of students who were Federal Pell grant recipients and who were exclusively enrolled in distance education courses prior to the qualifying emergency.
- $47.8 billion for testing and tracing activities for COVID-19
- $7.66 billion for state, local and territorial public health departments to establish, expand and sustain their public health workforce
- $7.6 billion for community health centers
- $3 billion for block grant programs under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- $200 million to support COVID-19 infection control in skilled nursing facilities and $250 million for “strike teams” to assist skilled nursing facilities; funding will be provided until one year after the end of the public health emergency.
- $39 billion for child care through $15 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and $24 billion for newly created child care stabilization grants
- $1 billion for Head Start programs
- $150 million in additional funds for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program
- $1 billion for the Pandemic Emergency Fund, which provides one-time benefits such as cash and vouchers to eligible families with low incomes
- $1.5 billion for the Community Mental Health Services Block grant for 2021
- $1.5 billion for the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Block grants for 2021
- $420 million for grants to Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics
- $450 million for programs under the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, including $198 million for grants to support survivors of sexual assault
- $250 million for programs under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act
- Permanently increases the total funding for the Child Care Entitlement to States from $2.9 billion to $3.05 billion per year (an increase of $130 million) and temporarily waives state matching funds for 2021 and 2022
- $1.434 billion for programs under the Older Americans Act, including $750 million for nutrition programs for 2021
- $4.5 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- $50 million for the Title X Family Planning program
Medicaid/Medicare Policy Funding and Medicaid FMAP (Federal Medical Assistance Percentages) Funding
- Requires state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to cover vaccines and COVID treatment without any cost sharing and extends the period of this policy by a year for one year after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Allows CMS to waive a Medicare requirement that a ground ambulance service include the transportation to a hospital to receive Medicare payments if they didn’t transport the beneficiary due to COVID-19 related protocols
Increases the federal FMAP by 10 percentage points for state expenditures on home and community-based services (HCBS) for four fiscal quarters
- Modifies Medicaid allotments for disproportionate share hospitals (DSH) to account for the 6.2 percentage point increase to states’ FMAP. The HHS would have to ensure that the total DSH payments that a state may make in a fiscal year is equal to the total payments it could have made without the FMAP increase during the pandemic.
- $27.4 billion in emergency rental assistance including $21.55 billion for emergency rental assistance via the Corona Relief Fund (remains available through Sept. 30, 2027, if obligated by Oct. 1, 2022) and $5 billion for emergency housing vouchers (funds available through Sept. 30, 2030), $750 million for tribal housing needs, and $100 million for rural housing. The first 40% of funding for the emergency rental assistance program will be provided within 60 days of enactment.
- $5 billion to assist people who are homeless with immediate and long-term assistance (emergency housing vouchers). Funds will remain available until September 20, 2030.
- $9.96 billion for a Homeowner Assistance Fund with $100 million for housing counseling via NeighborWorks America with funding remaining available through Sept. 30, 2022
- Not more than 15% of funds paid to state and local governments can be used for administrative costs.
- $30.5 billion for grants to transit agencies for operating expenses, including payroll and PPE costs
- $26.1 billion for Urbanized Area Formula Grants to aid transit service in urbanized areas
- $2.21 billion for urban and rural area grantees that require additional assistance due to the pandemic
- $1.7 billion for Capital Investment Grants
- $281 million in operating assistance formula grants for states to support rural transit agencies in areas with fewer than 50,000 people
- $100 million for intercity bus services to support essential connections in rural areas
If you have any questions about any of these funding programs and the impacts on your organization, please do not hesitate to contact us.