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Mar 25

March 25, 2021 TML Coronavirus Update #179

Posted on March 25, 2021 at 12:55 PM by TML Staff

Urgent Updates


What additional information do you have about the federal stimulus bill?


The National League of Cities (NLC) has prepared a comprehensive web page with the latest information. The page includes an excellent, 14-slide presentation with what we know thus far.  These are a few highlights:


Cities will receive $65.1 billion nationally in direct funding:

1. All cities are entitled to a federal grant from the new Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.

2. Aid obligated to cities is not mingled with aid obligated to state or county governments.

3. Aid for cities is protected from state or county interference by “ironclad statutes” compelling states to comply, including penalties for states that fail to carry out their responsibilities to small cities.


Grant calculations will be based on a modified CDBG formula:

-70 percent of funds, or $45.5 billion, is obligated to cities with 50,000 or more residents based on population size, poverty rates, and measures of housing instability. (Prioritizes need.)

-30 percent of funds, or $19.5 billion, is obligated to cities with less than 50,000 residents based on population size only. (Prioritizes simplification.)


Small city funding cap:

-Small city grants cannot be greater than 75 percent of the city’s most recent pre-pandemic budget.

-This is a “blunt instrument” to overcome unavailability of precise data for small localities.


Two-year funding certainty: 

-Grants will be released in two tranches.

-Half will be released following enactment and half 12 months following receipt of first payment.


Spending Deadline: 

-Money remains available until December 31, 2024, with unexpended funds being returned to Treasury.


You can sign up here to receive the NLC Federal Advocacy Newsletter directly.


Further Updates


Cities are seeing rising numbers of fraudulent unemployment benefits claims from current employees, recently-retired employees, and even elected officials. Where do we report a suspected fraudulent claim?


The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has become aware of the fraudulent activity through reports of individuals or businesses receiving correspondence from TWC when no claim has been filed and the individuals are employed. 


The agency encourages anyone who suspects potential fraudulent activity involving unemployment benefits to report it through the TWC fraud submission portal. You can also email or leave a message at the TWC Fraud Hotline at 800-252-3642.


Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?


TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.