Where does CARES end and ARPA begin?
ARPA Vs. CARES: What are the Differences?
The Federal Government continues its push to stimulate economic recovery and alleviate the strain many agencies are experiencing as a result of COVID-19. One of the first sources of funding was the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion aid package ($150 billion direct to SLGs) signed into law in March 2020. Jurisdictions follow a set of steps to apply for this funding for public records projects. The deadline for spending was extended to 12/31/21.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is the most recent funding relief package released in the United States. ARPA provides about $1 trillion in funding dedicated to economic recovery, $350 billion of which is earmarked as emergency funds deposited directly to funding for state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments, which includes:
- $195.3 billion for state governments
- $65.1 billion for 19,000+ municipal governments
- $65.1 billion for 3,000+ county governments
- $20 billion for tribal governments
Here are some important differences between ARPA and CARES, as they pertain to state and local governments.
|Total Amount Available||$1.9 trillion; $350 billion direct to SLGs||$2.2 trillion; $150 billion to SLGs|
|Eligibility||State, local, territorial, or Tribal government agencies (local governments are defined as those with a population of 50,000 or more)||State, local, territorial, or Tribal government agencies (local governments with are defined as those with a populations over 500,000 were eligible for direct payments)|
|Fund Distribution||Direct from US Treasury to SLGs (including all states and counties; plus cities with populations above 50K) via the Treasury Portal in two tranches — half now, half in May 2022. Non-county municipalities (cities, towns, townships and villages with populations 50K and below will get money from the state)||Funds were sent to states and largest cities/counties which then distributed down to smaller governments.|
|Eligible Uses relating to public records processing as a government service||Enforcement of public health orders (including safe remote work for staff and non-contact government services) and public communication and emergency response data-sharing efforts; providing government services to the extent of reduction in revenue as a result of COVID-19, including but not limited to police/first responder/public safety services and investments in modernizing cybersecurity. PLUS - any eligible use under CARES is also eligible under ARPA.||Public health expenses, including communication and enforcement of public health orders; expenses for technical assistance and improving telework capabilities; expenses related to reimbursing the costs of business interruption.|
|Deadlines||Funds should be used to cover costs incurred by December 31, 2024||The implementation deadline is December 31, 2021|
|Reporting Requirements||Local governments are required to provide “periodic reports” detailing the use of funds; states must report how funds are used and how tax revenue was modified during the time that funds were spent (source: https://www.naco.org/resources/featured/naco-recovery-fund-faqs)||A government should keep records sufficient to demonstrate that the amount of Fund payments has been used in accordance with section 601(d) of the Social Security Act (source: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/CRF-Guidance-Federal-Register_2021-00827.pdf)|