State Oversight of Federal Stimulus Funds

7/8/2020

coronavirus resource

53 states and territories have created or proposed ways to track, oversee and distribute information relating to federal stimulus funds. Governors are creating new entities, state agencies are documenting projects, and legislatures are forming commissions or committees to monitor the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The following provides a summary of actions that states have taken or proposed.

Updated July 8, 2020

State

Stimulus Oversight Plans

Alabama

Governor Kay Ivey announced that the Alabama legislature approved an executive amendment to SB161. The amendment gives the governor the authority to spend up to $200 million of CARES Act funds for the most immediate COVID-19-related expenses. Legislators are expected to return in a special session and appropriate the remainder of the state’s $1.8 billion allocation.

Alaska

Governor Mike Dunleavy submitted to the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee a plan for the equitable distribution of CARES Act funding, which brings over $1.5 billion of relief to the state. The CARES Act Funding Summary can be found here. The legislature approved the governor’s distribution of CARES Act funding for statewide COVID-19 economic relief, including money for businesses, nonprofits and local communities impacted by the public health crisis.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced the AZCares Fund making available over $400 million in CARES Act funding for Arizona’s local governments with populations of fewer than 500,000. Additionally, Ducey announced the Arizona Express Pay Program designed to advance critical funding to participants of FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. Applications for these two programs, along with other COVID-19 grant related information is available on the Arizona Together website.

Arkansas

Governor Asa Hutchinson created the Arkansas Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act Steering Committee to identify the needs of the state and make recommendations to the governor for the best use of CARES Act funding. The Steering Committee released a set of funding recommendations including $109.6 million for hospitals, $5 million for state agencies and $250 million set aside in reserve.

 

The General Assembly authorized CARES Act appropriation spending authority. In order to access or use this appropriation, the Department of Finance and Administration, on behalf of state agencies and institutions, must request approval by the General Assembly.  The procedure involves the chief fiscal officer of the state submitting a letter requesting the amount and what the appropriation will be used for to the Arkansas Legislative Council. If these requests are time sensitive they can be approved under emergency procedures where the Legislative Council chairs and the PEER Subcommittee chairs may approve this request on behalf of the full Committee. The PEER Subcommittee is a subcommittee of the Legislative Council that reviews and approves all budget related requests during the interim and reports those recommendations to the full Legislative Council for their final approval in a report.

California  The legislature established a control section in the budget for this funding, authorizing Governor Gavin Newsom to spend funds that are not accounted for in the enacted budget.

Colorado

Governor Jared Polis, in collaboration with legislative leadership, announced the allocation of $1.674 billion in funds from the CARES Act to support the state’s immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis as well as key investments needed for economic recovery. In a letter to the Colorado General Assembly, Polis detailed how the state will transfer and allocate funds from the CARES Act. 

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont established the Connecticut Municipal Coronavirus Relief Fund Program, which will set a process by which municipal governments will receive reimbursements from the state using the federally supported Coronavirus Relief Fund to offset their expenses related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Delaware Governor John Carney has the appropriation authority with significant advisory and oversight role from the legislature via the Joint Finance Committee and the Controller General's Office.
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser directed the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) to establish the District’s Economic Recovery Team (DERT). The DERT is a cross-agency team led by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) that will engage with non-governmental partners to support businesses, employers, workers, and housing needs. The goals of the DERT are to prepare the district to effectively deploy federal funds; coordinate agency efforts to accelerate, adjust, and create local programs for COVID-19 containment measures. The DERT will be the central point of coordination for recommendations and ideas that could advance D.C.’s economic recovery. Recommendations can be shared at D.C. Economic Recovery Team.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the federal funds will be distributed to counties that have a population below 500,000. The Florida Division of Emergency Management has been tasked with distributing the relief funds to the remaining counties, starting with an initial disbursement of a quarter of each county’s allocation.

Guam

Governor Leon Guerrero established the COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Office to increase transparency regarding the use of federal funds relative to COVID-19. The office is responsible for working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and is authorized to provide information, assurances, requests or justifications on behalf of the governor. The administration will also submit reports of expenditures for goods and services related to the public health emergency to the legislature and post them on the Office of the Governor’s website. Procurement will be done through an independent third party. An independent review will be performed relative to all expenditures made under the budget developed. This review will ensure compliance with applicable federal and local law and require accountability and transparency on the part of all entities involved in the utilization of CARES Act funding.

Hawaii

The legislature enacted a bill, SB 75, that outlines how the state’s portion will be allocated. A portion of it will be deposited into the state’s rainy day fund. Other allocations will be determined in the coming months.

 

Governor David Y. Ige appointed Alan M. Oshima to lead Hawaii’s efforts to develop and implement a plan for economic and community stabilization, recovery and resiliency. The plan includes identifying and addressing critical economic and community impacts, including the allocation of the CARES Act funds and state and local funding to mitigate the collapse of key economic sectors. 

Idaho

Governor Brad Little established a COVID-19 Financial Advisory Committee to oversee distribution of the $1.25 billion in federal aid the state will receive under the CARES Act. The new committee will be headed by Alex Adams, the governor’s budget chief, and will include lawmakers, state agency and local government officials, tribal representatives, and other leaders. Little said he’s working with Idaho State Controller Brandon Woolf to ensure that all uses of the funds are reported on Woolf’s government transparency website. The legislature and the governor agreed to direct up to $200 million to local governments that agree to pass along the resulting budget savings to Idahoans in the form of property tax relief. The governor’s Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee has finalized parameters for local government to participate in the program. Program details will be available at Rebound.Idaho.Gov.

Illinois The legislature passed SB 264, which authorizes spending by various state agencies and HB 64, that enables various agencies to carry out the budget. The implementation bill sets up several new funds within state government that can receive and distribute money from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The implantation bill gives Governor Jay Robert Pritzker discretionary authority over the spending of state funds throughout the budget. It also sets up a legislative oversight committee to monitor all executive spending in the budget as well as how the CARES Act funds distributed to local governments are spent.

Indiana

Governor Eric J. Holcomb created a task force to plan, administer and account for relief funds the state receives from the CARES Act. Indiana’s Economic Relief and Recovery Team will be co-chaired by Office of Management and Budget Director Cris Johnston and Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced that she is allocating $700 million of the state’s $1.25 billion federal coronavirus emergency relief money to programs that will help farmers, businesses, homeowners, renters and local governments. Of the $700 million she will allocate, Reynolds said $215 million would be spent on a small business relief program that has already helped 4,000 small businesses. Reynolds will hold $550 million to cover unforeseen coronavirus pandemic expenses and to support the state’s unemployment trust fund. The governor noted that she will be transparent on the use of federal funds related to COVID-19 and has consulted with the legislature, and local officials.

Kansas

The legislature passed HB 2016, which gives lawmakers some oversight authority over the governor's ability to distribute federal aid and control over business closures. Governor Laura Kelly is expected to sign the bill. 

 

Kelly announced the formation of the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas Taskforce to lead the state’s economic recovery. The office will be responsible for the statewide distribution of significant CARES Act funding. A five-member executive committee will oversee the process, and the office will have a steering committee with an additional 15 members who will form three subcommittees. The three subcommittees will focus on communication and engagement, finance and policy development, and implementation and accountability. 

Kentucky

Governor Andy Beshear announced a $300 million award to city and county governments as part of the CARES Act, which established the Coronavirus Relief Fund to reimburse local governments for expenses incurred in response to the public health emergency. These funds will be administered by the Department for Local Government and can be used to cover expenses necessary to comply with public health guidelines. Eligible local governments with COVID-19-related expenses from March 1, 2020, to Dec. 30, 2020, may complete an application with expense documentation on the DLG’s website.

Louisiana Louisiana received $1.8 billion as part of the CARES Act, which established the Coronavirus Relief Fund to reimburse local governments for expenses incurred in response to the public health emergency. Louisiana's congressional delegation urged Governor John Bel Edwards to use the full 45%, more than $800 million, for those local government expenses. The Commissioner of Administration, Jay Dardenne detailed to local government agency officials the administration's plans for disbursing the money, in line with federal guidelines requiring its use for virus-related expenses. The governor's Division of Administration created a website with information about the process and how to register for expense reimbursement. Applications were slated to start June 1, with Dardenne saying the first payments would go out in July.
Maine Governor Janet Mills is seeking input from the legislature on how the $1.25 billion coronavirus relief fund, made available by the CARES Act should be spent. Mills explained in a letter to the legislature presiding officers.
Maryland The Joint COVID-19 Response Legislative Work Group is co-chaired by President Bill Ferguson and Speaker Adrienne Jones and includes 22 House and Senate members. Their charge is to monitor the effects of COVID-19 in Maryland and to support the governor and Department of Health, and to advise the General Assembly on any actions they should be taking.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that he is preparing to distribute up to $502 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to local cities and towns for eligible costs related to the COVID-19 response effort. The administration is also providing guidance to local municipalities on this formal distribution process and establishing protocols to maximize the use of federal resources and promote compliance with federal restrictions.

Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer created the Michigan COVID-19 Office of Accountability within the State Budget Office. The office will provide oversight of all spending to address the crisis and must report regularly on its work to the governor and the state budget director. The Michigan legislature passed SB 690. The bill provides direct support to local governments with the inclusion of $100 million for hazard pay for local first responders who are on the front lines battling COVID-19 and another $200 million for local communities across the state.

Minnesota The Senate Finance Committee passed SF 4564, a bill that implements a system to distribute $667 million of the state’s $1.8 billion in CARES Act funding to cities, counties, and townships. The legislature introduced HB 128 b and HB 135 b both bills relate to the distribution, allowable uses, repayment of the Coronavirus Relief Fund to local governments.

Mississippi

Mississippi lawmakers and Governor Tate Reeves reached an agreement over control of the state’s $1.25 billion allocation from the CARES Act. The legislature will appropriate the funds and the governor will administer them.

Missouri

Governor Michael Parson created a working group to help make recommendations on the best use of the CARES Act funding. Serving as an advisory body, the group will study and analyze the federal relief available to Missouri, its citizens and businesses under the CARES Act and identify the best practices to use in applying that relief. State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick will lead the group, working with key legislative budget members, the Office of Administration’s Budget and Planning Division, and members of Missouri’s congressional delegation. More information can be found on the treasurer’s website

Montana

Governor Steve Bullock announced the creation of a Coronavirus Relief Task Force to provide guidance on how to use $1.25 billion appropriated to the state through the CARES Act. Montanans can provide input on where the funds are needed on the state Commerce Department website

 

Section 10-3-203, MCA, authorizes the governor to accept the funds received under the CARES Act, and they are statutorily appropriated pursuant to section 17-7-502, MCA. The funds may only be used for the purposes specified in Section 601(d) of the CARES Act.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts announced how Nebraska plans to use the federal coronavirus relief funds to get Nebraska growing. Nebraska is receiving $1.25 billion through the CARES Act to aid coronavirus relief efforts. Of the relief funds, $166 million will go to Douglas County.  The remainder will be allocated by the state of Nebraska. The governor outlined the main priorities for these funds. They include 1) stabilizing businesses and livestock producers; 2) supporting community institutions to meet critical needs such as food security, shelter, and mental health care; reimbursing state and local governments for coronavirus-related expenses; and 3) shoring up the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund and potential general fund budget flexibility. Ricketts annoucned that he has hired accounting firm Deloitte Touche to oversee the spending,
Nevada Nevada received $1.25 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), made available through the CARES Act. A portion of the state’s total allotment was reserved for local governments that have a population more than 500,000. As a result, approximately $295 million was allocated to Clark County and an additional $118.9 million was allocated to the City of Las Vegas. The state of Nevada received $836 million from the CRF, of which a certain amount may be paid to local governments. Nevada counties and certain designated cities that have a population of less than 500,000 can request a CRF allocation from the state of Nevada Governor’s Finance Office (GFO). A representative from these localities can email the office at covid19@finance.nv.gov to provide point-of-contact information and request a submittal packet. The Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee voted to form a new 12-member subcommittee, which will be chaired by Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson. The group will advise the state of the use of federal COVID-19 relief funds and provide transparency and accountability.

New Hampshire

Governor Chris Sununu established the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery. The office is charged with the investment and oversight of COVID-19 relief and stimulus funds provided to the state by the federal government. The office will manage the accounting, auditing, legal and IT requirements surrounding these investments and will ensure transparency and accountability in all relief and stimulus efforts.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) will administer reimbursement-based grants to local governments for eligible coronavirus relief fund (CRF) related costs that have not been reimbursed through other sources, including FEMA. Local units must demonstrate financial hardship directly attributable to COVID-19. Substantial COVID-19 related expenditures in public safety overtime, health services, self-insured health benefit outlays, and public works will substantially heighten local governments’ budgetary and cash-flow challenges. $5 million from this relief fund will be dedicated toward supporting projects that improve local government dispatch and public health services to enhance emergency response preparedness and system resilience. Funds may prioritize the twelve counties that were not eligible for their own Coronavirus Relief Fund allocations.
New Mexico 

The legislature passed HB1-SS, which authorizes $165 million from the coronavirus relief fund (CRF) to cities and counties and $23 million to tribal governments.

North Carolina

Governor Roy Cooper signed into law a spending package that allocates federal funding sent to the state from the CARES Act. The Office of State Budget and Management will work with the recipient state agencies to budget funds according to program needs and within the parameters of the respective granting entities and applicable federal laws and regulations. The office will provide a report to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations and the Fiscal Research Division by March 1, 2021, detailing the use of funds allocated. In North Carolina, all federal funds must be appropriated by the General Assembly, including the funds from the CARES Act. In addition to appropriating the funds, the General Assembly has taken the lead role in allocating funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF).

North Dakota The North Dakota Emergency Commission voted to utilize more than half a billion dollars in federal funding for North Dakota’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, with the majority of the money directed to support economic recovery. North Dakota received $1.25 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) as part of the CARES Act. The six-member Emergency Commission voted to utilize $524.2 million, or 42% of the state’s CRF. Governor Doug Burgum, who chairs the Emergency Commission, noted the majority of the $524.2 million will be dedicated to economic support. The Emergency Commission consists of Govenor Doug Burgum as chairman, Secretary of State Al Jaeger, House Majority Leader Chet Pollert of Carrington, Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner of Dickinson, House Appropriations Chairman Jeff Delzer of Underwood and Senate Appropriations Chairman Ray Holmberg of Grand Forks.

Northern Mariana Islands

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Department of Finance announced its plan for the use of $36 million transferred to the islands’ government under the CARES Act.

Ohio The legislature passed SB 310, a measure that includes distributing $350 million in CARES Act funds to local governments.

Oklahoma

The House Appropriations and Budget Committee is requiring the governor’s office to publish daily reports on the Oklahoma Checkbook website regarding the spending of federal coronavirus relief funds.

Oregon The League of Oregon Counties, the Association of Oregon Counties, and the Special Districts Association of Oregon reached an agreement on a recommendation to Governor Kate Brown, Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek on a framework for distributing Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) under the CARES Act. This agreement also involved collaboration with legislative members of a local government work group, including Senator Jeff Golden, Senator Bill Hansell, Representative Rick Lewis and Representative Karin Power.  A bipartisan legislative committee agreed on how to allocate $247 million in CRF.
Pennsylvania The legislature passed Pa. Senate Bill 1108, which authorized $625 million in direct payments to Pennsylvania counties from the CARES Act.

Puerto Rico

Governor Wanda Vázquez issued an executive order that adopts the Strategic Disbursement Plan for the $2.2 billion the island will receive through the CARES Act.

Rhode Island

A 12-member group of lawmakers from the House and Senate is tasked with trying to understand how the state is spending $1.2 billion in federal aid money. While Governor Gina Raimondo has the final say in how the aid is spent, the task force is expected to provide oversight and transparency.

South Carolina

Governor Henry McMaster released his recommendations to the South Carolina General Assembly for how the state’s share of federal CARES Act funds should be invested. The list is based on the recommendations of AccelerateSC, a group created by the governor to coordinate the economic revitalization effort. The group includes business leaders, health care professionals, educators, local government officials and others.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem outlined her plans for using the CARES Act funding calling for directing the funds toward health care, small businesses, education and local governments, while also holding some back in case the federal government grants additional flexibilities for the funds.

Tennessee

Governor Bill Lee announced the creation of the Stimulus Financial Accountability Group to oversee fiscal management of CARES Act funding received by the state.

Texas

Governor Greg Abbott created four Strike Force Working Groups, including the Fiscal Accountability and Federal Liaison group, to be led by Billy Hamilton, the deputy chancellor and chief financial officer of Texas A&M University. The group will leverage federal resources and ensure fiscal accountability.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Governor Albert Bryan announced that his administration received $75 million from the CARES Act. The funds will allow the government to subsidize the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Water and Power Authority ratepayers; assist the passenger ferry operators, which have cut back their passenger loads for social distancing; and offer transportation assistance for disabled and elderly residents. The governor also instituted a “rent freeze,” effective immediately, for the duration of the state of emergency.

Utah

The legislature passed HJR504, a measure requiring the governor to report back to the legislature within 24 hours of spending more than $2 million in federal funding during a pandemic. The legislature passed HB5010, which amended and assigned initiatives to the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) to implement and manage the federal CARES Act funds. The bill creates economic recovery programs in response to COVID-19.

Vermont

Governor Phil Scott announced his proposal for a $400 million economic relief and recovery package, using funds from the $1.25 billion the state received from the CARES Act. The two-phase proposal will start with $310 million for immediate relief to the most affected sectors and businesses, to be followed by $90 million for long-term recovery efforts. The Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the governor will work with the legislature to pass the relief package.

Virginia

Aubrey L. Layne Jr., the secretary of finance, announced that local governments with populations of fewer than 500,000 residents will be eligible to receive funding for COVID-19-related expenses on or around June 1, 2020, from the Department of Accounts after receipt of a signed certification from the locality. This distribution will be made to the local treasurer.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that the state would award $300 million of the state’s CARES funding to local governments that did not receive direct distributions under the CARES Act. Funds will be provided to cities and counties with populations under 500,000 that were ineligible to receive direct funding under the CARES Act. 

West Virginia

Governor Jim Justice announced that city and county government officials across West Virginia can use a new web portal to apply for grant funding through the CARES Act. Applications are available on West Virginia’s website.

Wisconsin

Governor Tony Evers announced the launch of the “Routes to Recovery: Local Government Aid Grants” program, a $200 million effort aimed at helping local leaders address some of their most urgent and unique COVID-19 recovery needs. Administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), Routes to Recovery Grants will be allocated to every Wisconsin county, city, village, town and federally recognized tribe. The effort is funded by $200 million in the CARES Act dollars and will be administered by the DOA. Of the $200 million, $10 million will be allocated to Wisconsin’s tribal nations, with the remaining funds being distributed to every Wisconsin county, city, village and town.

Wyoming

Governor Mark Gordon has signed three pieces of legislation passed by the Wyoming legislature that provide a framework for spending the $1.25 billion in federal funding awarded to the state through the CARES Act.

For additions or corrections to this information please contact Jocelyn Salguero.