To receive these funds, cities must submit a certification form to DOF no later than 11:59 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time on July 10, certifying appropriate use of the funds and adherence to federal guidance, the state’s stay-at-home requirements and other health requirements as directed. The certification form may be signed by a chief executive or authorized designee at the city’s discretion and no action by council is necessary prior to certification. Applications received after that time and date may not qualify.
Cities with populations between 300,000 and 500,000 were allocated $225 million, and cities with populations of less than 300,000 were allocated $275 million. Generally the population of the city was used to determine their share of the allocation, with no city receiving less than $50,000.
Federal law specifies that these funds may only be used for unbudgeted costs incurred between March 1, 2020 and Dec. 30, 2020. All funds must be spent (not merely encumbered) by the end of the year.
More information about the application process can be found on the DOF website.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, cities have incurred millions of dollars in unanticipated emergency spending to protect their residents and prevent further spread of the virus. The League appreciates the Governor and Legislature's response to the Leauge's calls to provide a larger portion of the state’s CARES Act funding to cities that did not receive a direct share from the federal government, and establish an increased minimum portion per city. While these funds will not cover all of the expenses cities have incurred fighting COVID-19 and keeping our communities safe, they will provide meaningful resources to help offset those costs.
The allocations, however, in no way address the serious situation cities face given the revenue shortfalls caused by COVID-19 and the resulting public safety orders and the League will continue to fight for the resources that cities need to address this revenue loss and which are needed to continue to provide core services to residents and help kick start recovery in our communities.
The League will host a webinar, CARES Act Dollars: Guidance by CA Department of Finance on Eligible Expenses and Reporting, on July 14 at 11:30 a.m. with the DOF and League President John F. Dunbar to discuss eligible expenses and reporting requirements.