CARES Act – March 2020
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, is a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the 116th U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, 2020, in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The spending primarily includes $300 billion in one-time cash payments to individual Americans (with most single adults receiving $1,200 and families with children receiving more, $260 billion in increased unemployment benefits, the creation of the Paycheck Protection Program that provides forgivable loans to small businesses with an initial $350 billion in funding (later increased to $669 billion by subsequent legislation), $500 billion in loans for corporations, and $339.8 billion to state and local governments.
Some of the CARES Act funding flowed through the State of Ohio by way of the following legislation:
Ohio House Bill 481
- Appropriates $350 million of funding allocated to the state from the federal
“Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (CARES Act) to counties,
municipalities, and townships to fund COVID-19 pandemic-related expenses.
- Distributes funds based on the proportion of Local Government Fund revenue allocated
to subdivisions in 2019 (excluding local governments that receive direct federal funding
under the CARES Act).
- Requires a subdivision, before receiving a payment, to adopt a resolution affirming that
the subdivision will spend it only on pandemic-related expenses as required under the
- Requires local funds unspent as of October 15, 2020, to be redistributed to local
governments that have spent their full allocation.
- Requires subdivisions to return unspent CARES Act funds to the state by December 28,
- Governor DeWine signed HB 481 on June 19, 2020.
Senate Bill 310
Originally CARES Act funding distribution bill, SB 310 was heavily amended to include the much-anticipated capital budget. The legislation authorized spending and appropriations of unspent CARES Act funds, in case the federal government was unable to pass an extension of the pending deadline. The President and Congress ultimately extended the CARES Act spending deadline. Governor DeWine signed SB 310 on December 29, 2020.
Consolidated Appropriations Act – December 2020
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 is a $2.3 trillion spending bill that combines $900 billion in stimulus relief for the COVID-19 pandemic with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill for the 2021 federal fiscal year (combining 12 separate annual appropriations bills).The bill is one of the largest spending measures ever enacted, surpassing the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, enacted in March 2020.
While no additional state and local aid was provided, an extension of the deadline by which the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) resources must be spent was extended to Dec. 31, 2021. The legislation provided another round of direct payments, enhanced unemployment benefits, education funding, and aid to sectors still reeling from the economic fallout of the pandemic.
Related State Legislation
While the American Rescue Plan (see below) winds its way through Congress, Ohio officials introduced new legislation to spend more than $2 billion in coronavirus relief that has already been authorized.
The House and Senate rolled out four companion measures each with significant chunks of cash for schools, businesses and a variety of other Ohio entities. A good portion of the $2.15 billion in assistance stems from the relief package enacted by Congress late last year, but the state legislation also includes some money from the general revenue fund and other sources.
The companion measures are comprised of:
- $683 million for public schools; $155 million for private schools; $173 million for public health; $19 million for Educational Service Centers, Joint Vocational Schools and Ohio’s County Boards of Developmental Disabilities; and $8 million for the Adjutant General’s Office (SB 111; HB 170).
- $465 million in rent and utility assistance (SB 110; HB 167).
- $150 million for a second round of small business grants; $112 million for child care providers; $20 million for indoor entertainment grants; $10 million for new business grants; $4.7 million for fairs to get $50,000 each; and $3 million for the state’s two veterans homes (SB 109; HB 168).
- $100 million for bars and restaurants, and $25 million for lodging businesses (SB 108; HB 169).
American Rescue Plan – March 2021
The American Rescue Plan is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package signed by President Biden to speed up the United States’ recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing recession. The package builds upon many of the measures in the CARES Act and in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, but it also has it own provisions.
View a summary of the American Rescue Plan
Ohio will is receiving nearly $5.4 billion as part of the package, with another $6.6 billion going directly to 37 Ohio cities and all 88 counties as part of the $350 billion program created under the American Rescue Plan to help state and local governments. Work is ongoing with the treasury department to get money for Ohio townships, which were left out of the allocations.
More information from the U.S. Treasury Department
Other Helpful Links
MORPC CARES Act Forum Presentation Slides (August 2020)
Auditor of State – COVID-19 Resources for Local Governments