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The U.S. Treasury has issued its final rule implementing the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program under the American Rescue Plan and has offered webinars to answer questions. 

Although the final rule text is 437 pages long, Treasury has prepared a 44-page overview of the major provisions, with key changes and clarifications, including: 

  • The final rule offers a standard allowance for revenue loss of $10 million, allowing recipients to select between a standard amount of revenue loss or complete a full revenue loss calculation. Recipients that select the standard allowance may use that amount—in many cases their full award—for government services, with streamlined reporting requirements.
  • Recipients can use funds for capital expenditures that support an eligible COVID-19 public health or economic response. For example, recipients may build certain affordable housing, childcare facilities, schools, hospitals, and other projects consistent with final rule requirements.
  • The final rule allows for a broader set of uses to restore and support government employment, including hiring above a recipient’s pre-pandemic baseline, providing funds to employees that experienced pay cuts or furloughs, avoiding layoffs, and providing retention incentives.
  • More streamlined options to provide premium pay are provided by broadening the share of eligible workers who can receive premium pay without a written justification while maintaining a focus on lower-income and frontline workers performing essential work.
  • The final rule significantly broadens eligible broadband infrastructure investments to address challenges with broadband access, affordability, and reliability, and adds additional eligible water and sewer infrastructure investments, including a broader range of lead remediation and stormwater management projects.

The final rule takes effect on April 1, 2022; prior to April 1, 2022, recipients may take actions and use funds in a manner consistent with the final rule, and Treasury will not take action to enforce the interim final rule if a use of funds is consistent with the terms of the final rule, regardless of when the SLFRF funds were used. See the Statement Regarding Compliance with the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Interim Final Rule and Final Rule for more information. 

ICMA is collecting contact information for those responsible for overall coordination and planning around ARPA funds for local governments. Staff are interested in networking, supporting, and learning from those serving in this type of role. Click here to provide contact information for your local government’s point person(s) and to receive information about upcoming events and peer learning opportunities.

 

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