State Senate Approves Final CARES Act Funding for Local Governments
The Ohio Senate on September 2nd unanimously passed Senator Matt Dolan's (R - Chagrin Falls) recently introduced legislation, SB 357, which appropriates the remaining $650 million of the $1.2 billion in federal CARES Act dollars set aside for local governments.
After this final portion is released, the distribution of the full $1.2 billion will have been apportioned as follows:
- 42.8% to cities
- 18.3% to townships
- 33.5% to counties
There were a few amendments of note that the Senate Finance Committee added to the bill before it passed out of committee:
- clarifying that local governments do not need to pass an additional authorizing resolution to receive these funds if they have already passed one authorizing acceptance of CARES Act money and agreeing to the terms
- extending the deadline for redistribution of funds if local governments haven’t used them from October 15th to November 20th
- shortening the number of days counties have to distribute the money to locals after receiving it from the state from 7 to 5 days
- clarifying that the definition of “per capita” is based on 2019 population numbers
- changing the proportion of money counties can keep from the state from 25% to 50% if less than 25% of the total number of local jurisdictions in that county are eligible for redistribution (previously, across the board, 75% of money given to the county needed to go back out to local jurisdictions)
- clarifying that the amount of money municipalities/townships receive from counties is based on the portion of their population that lives within that county (if the city/twp line extends into another county)
- changing the date by which local governments have to return unused money from December 28th to December 30th but clarifying that they don’t have to do related accounting on dollars spent until February 1
The House will likely be back later this month to approve SB 357 and then it will go to the Governor for his signature. Because the Senate added an emergency clause to the bill, it will become effectively immediately after receiving the Governor's signature.