From the Office of Governor Greg AbbottGovernor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson, Vice Chair Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, House Appropriations Committee Chair Giovanni Capriglione and Vice-Chair Oscar Longoria Monday sent a letter to city and county leaders. It announced $5.06 billion in funding available to local governments in Texas through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Of this $5.06 billion, the U.S. Department of Treasury has directly sent over $3.2 billion to the six cities and 12 counties in Texas with a population greater than 500,000. The remaining $1.85 billion will be available to other cities and counties throughout the state. Funding will go towards reimbursement of direct expenses incurred by cities and counties due to COVID-19.
The 242 counties and all the cities that did not receive direct allocations from the Treasury now have help. They are eligible to apply to the state for a $55 per capita distribution from the $1.85 billion. Upon execution of a grant agreement, governments will be able to draw down 20% to their allocation immediately. After those jurisdictions provide documentation on the initial funding, they will then be able to access the remainder of their allowance on a reimbursement basis. Reserved is the unallocated funds for local expenses as future outbreaks, and the long-term impacts of COVID-19 are better known. In the letter, the leaders encourage cities and counties to work together to address expenses that cross jurisdictional lines.
“All Texans expect the government to work in a unified fashion to address this unprecedented situation, and we will continue to do so,” reads the letter. “Thank you again for your work on behalf of your residents. These are tremendously difficult times for all Texans. Please know that the elected representatives in your state government are working continuously to protect the health and safety of this state, mitigate the economic ramifications of COVID-19, and build a path towards recovery.”
The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) will administer the reimbursement process and will partner with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension to provide individual assistance to each city and county throughout the process. Information on applying for funding, as well as guidance about eligible uses, can be found at the following website: www.tdem.texas.gov/crf.