The HEROES Act And Its Impact to State and Local Governments

Published: May 15, 2020

SLED Market AnalysisCoronavirus (COVID-19) PandemicEconomic StimulusPolicy and Legislation

**Updated May 15th** (Estimated Relief Allocations By State. Source: Tax Foundation.org On Tuesday, May 12, House Democrats unveiled a massive $3 trillion coronavirus aid package called the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act). GovWin provides a breakdown of potential funding implications for State, Local and Education (SLED) governments.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled Democrats' proposal for the next phase of coronavirus relief legislation on Tuesday, releasing a massive legislative package that Democrats hope to bring to a vote as early as Friday.  The HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) . Below is a breakdown on the Coronavirus Recovery Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 and the potential funding implications for SLED governments. 

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Provides $10 billion to support anticipated increases in participation and to cover program cost increases related to flexibilities provided to SNAP by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) – Provides an additional $1.1 billion to provide access to nutritious foods to low-income pregnant women or mothers with young children who lose their jobs or are laid off due to the COVID-19 emergency.
  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) – Includes $150 million to help local food banks meet increased demand for low-income Americans during the emergency. Including funding provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), TEFAP has received a total of $1 billion.
  • Child Nutrition Programs – Includes $3 billion in additional funding to provide emergency financial relief to school meal providers and USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs – $100 million, with a waiver of the local match requirement, including $30 million for grants to combat violence against women, $15 million for transitional housing assistance grants, $15 million for sexual assault victims assistance, $10 million for rural domestic violence and child abuse enforcement assistance, $10 million for legal assistance for victims, $4 million for assistance to tribal governments, and $16 million to support families in the justice system.
  • Byrne Justice Assistance Grants – $300 million to help prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including for purchasing personal protective equipment and controlling outbreaks of coronavirus at prisons, with waivers of the local match and non-supplanting requirements. Public defender funding is also an authorized use of Byrne-JAG grants. The bill additionally prevents the Department of Justice from preventing these funds from going to sanctuary jurisdictions.
  • Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) – $300 million for law enforcement hiring grants and for the purchase of personal protective equipment, with waivers of the local match and non-supplanting requirements.
  • Second Chance Act grants – $250 million for grants to help facilitate the reintegration of exprisoners back into society and to prevent recidivism.
  • Pandemic Justice Response Act Grants – $600 million, including: (1) $500 million to prevent, detect, and stop the presence of COVID-19 in correctional institutions, and for pre-trial citation and release grants, (2) $25 million for Rapid COVID-19 Testing at correctional institutions, and (3) $75 million for Juvenile Specific Services.

Financial Services and General Government

  • State Fiscal Relief – $500 billion in funding to assist state governments with the fiscal impacts from the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus.
  • Local Fiscal Relief – $375 billion in funding to assist local governments with the fiscal impacts from the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus.
  • Tribal Fiscal Relief – $20 billion in funding to assist Tribal governments with the fiscal impacts from the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus.
  • Fiscal Relief for Territories – $20 billion in funding to assist governments of the Territories with the fiscal impacts from the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus.
  • CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund Repayment to DC – Provides an additional $755 million for the District of Columbia to assist with the fiscal impacts from the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus
  • Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) – $1 billion for economic support and recovery in distressed communities by providing financial and technical assistance to CDFIs.
  • Elections – $3.6 billion for grants to States for contingency planning, preparation, and resilience of elections for Federal office.
  • Broadband – $1.5 billion to close the homework gap by providing funding for Wi-Fi hotspots and connected devices for students and library patrons, and $4 billion for emergency home connectivity needs.

Homeland Security

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency – $1.3 billion to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including $200 million for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program; $500 million for Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG); $500 million for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants; and $100 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG).

Labor

Department of Labor

  • $3.1 billion to support workforce training and worker protection activities related to coronavirus, including:
    • $925 million to assist States in processing unemployment insurance claims

Health and Human Services and Related Agencies

Health Resources and Services Administration

  • $7.6 billion to support expanded health care services for underserved populations, including:
    • $7.6 billion for Health Centers to expand the capacity to provide testing, triage, and care for COVID-19 and other health care services at approximately 1,000 existing health centers across the country; and
    • $10 million to Ryan White HIV/AIDS clinics to support extended operational hours, increased staffing hours, additional equipment, and additional home delivered meals and transportation needs of clients, who disproportionately suffer from co-morbidities and underlying immunosuppression that puts them at greater risk for COVID-19 complications.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • $2.1 billion to support federal, state, and local public health agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus, including:
    • $2 billion for State, local, Territorial, and Tribal Public Health Departments and
    • $130 million for public health data surveillance and analytics infrastructure modernization.

Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund

  • $175 billion to reimburse for health care related expenses or lost revenue attributable to the coronavirus, as well as to support testing and contact tracing to effectively monitor and suppress COVID-19, including:  
    • $100 billion in grants for hospital and health care providers to be reimbursed health care related expenses or lost revenue directly attributable to the public health emergency resulting from coronavirus; and
    • $75 billion for testing, contact tracing, and other activities necessary to effectively monitor and suppress COVID-19.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

  • $3 billion to increase mental health support during this challenging time, to support substance abuse treatment, and to offer increased outreach, including:
    • $1.5 billion for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant;
    • $1 billion for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant; § $100 million for services to homeless individuals;
    • $100 million for Project AWARE to identify students and connect them with mental health services;
    • $10 million for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network;
    • $265 million for emergency response grants to address immediate behavioral health needs as a result of COVID-19;
    • $25 million for the Suicide Lifeline and Disaster Distress Helpline; and
    • Not less $150 million for tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, or health service providers to tribes across a variety of programs.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – Nursing Strike Team – $150 million for States to establish and implement strike teams to deploy to skilled nursing facilities or nursing facilities within 72 hours of three residents or employees being diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19.

Administration for Children and Families

  • $10.1 billion to provide supportive and social services for families and children through programs including:
    • $7 billion for Child Care and Development Block Grants;
    • $1.5 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP);  
    • $1.5 billion to support paying water bills for low income families;
    • $50 million for Family Violence Prevention and Services;
    • $20 million for Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) State Grants; and
    • $20 million for Community Based-Child Abuse Prevention Grants.

Expansion of Rural Health Care Program of FCC in Response to COVID-19

  • Authorizes $2 billion for a temporary expansion of the FCC’s Rural Health Care Program (RHCP) to partially subsidize their health care providers’ broadband service. Authorized subsidies would flow to all nonprofit and public hospitals, not just rural ones. Increases the broadband subsidy rate from 65 percent to 85 percent. Also uses authorized funds to expand eligibility of the RHCP to ensure mobile and temporary health care delivery sites are eligible and temporarily modifies administrative processes to ensure funding is delivered expediently.

Education

Department of Education – $100.15 billion to support the educational needs of States, school districts, and institutions of higher education in response to coronavirus, including:

  • $90 billion for a State Fiscal Stabilization Fund for grants to States to support statewide and local funding for elementary and secondary schools and public postsecondary institutions. This flexible funding can support:
    • costs associated with making up instructional time, including teacher, school leader, and classified school employee personnel costs;
    • providing school-based supports for impacted students, families, and staff, including counseling, mental health services, family engagement efforts, and the coordination of physical health services;
    • costs associated with sanitation and cleaning for schools and school transportation;
    • professional development for school-based staff on trauma-informed care to restore the learning environment;
    • purchasing educational technology, including assistive technology, that aids in regular and substantive interactions between students and their classroom instructor;
    • coordination efforts between State educational agencies and public health departments for emergency planning, response, and recovery;
    • authorized activities under education statutes including ESEA, IDEA, McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, and the Perkins Act;
    • training and professional development for college and university faculty and staff to use technology and services related to distance education;
    • general expenditures for institutions of higher education for expenses associated with a disruption in services or operations related to coronavirus, including defraying expenses due to lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, and payroll; and,
    • emergency financial aid to postsecondary students for housing, food, technology, health care, and child care.
  • $10.15 billion to help alleviate burdens associated with the coronavirus for both colleges and students, including $1.7 billion for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions, $20 million for Howard University, $11 million for Gallaudet University, $11 million for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and $8.4 billion for other institutions of higher education.
  • E-Rate Support for Wi-Fi Hotspots, Other Equipment, and Connected Devices During Emergency Periods Related to COVID-19Authorizes $5 billion in funding for a temporary disbursement to be administered through the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) E-rate Program for schools and libraries to provide internet service in a technologically neutral way to students and teachers, prioritizing those without internet access at home. It allows authorized funding to be used for internet service and providing connected devices, like laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, and routers, to students and teachers to help keep them in the digital classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic. Five percent of the emergency funds authorized are set aside to help serve schools and libraries that serve people living on tribal lands

Transportation

  • Highways – $15 billion for grants to support the ongoing work of State, Tribal, and Territorial Departments of Transportation and certain local governments to mitigate the effects of coronavirus including the salaries of staff and other administrative expenses.
  • Transit Emergency Relief – $15.75 billion for operating assistance grants to support the transit agencies that require significant additional assistance to maintain basic transit services. Of these amounts $11.75 billion will be distributed by formula and $4 billion will be available to any grantee or sub-recipient by application to the Secretary.

Housing and Urban Development

  • Tenant-Based Rental Assistance – $4 billion to allow public housing agencies (PHAs) to respond to coronavirus and the ability to keep over 2.2 million families stably housed even when facing a loss of income, including $1 billion for new, temporary, vouchers for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, or fleeing domestic violence. Allows PHAs the flexibility necessary for the safe and effective administration of these funds while maintaining fair housing, nondiscrimination, labor standards, and environmental protections.
  • Public Housing Operating Fund – $2 billion for PHAs to carry out coronavirus response for the operation and management of almost 1 million public housing units. Allows PHAs the 10 flexibility necessary for the safe and effective administration of these funds while maintaining fair housing, nondiscrimination, labor standards, and environmental protections.
  • Housing for Persons with AIDS – $15 million to maintain operations, rental assistance, supportive services, and other necessary actions to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on low income persons with HIV/AIDS.
  • Community Development Block Grant – $5 billion for coronavirus response and to mitigate the impacts in our communities to be distributed by formula to current grantees. The legislation continues to waive the public services cap to allow communities to respond to the impacts of the pandemic.
  • Homeless Assistance Grants – $11.5 billion for Emergency Solutions Grants to address the impact of coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and to support additional homeless assistance, prevention, and diversion activities to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.
  • Emergency Rental Assistance – $100 billion to provide emergency assistance to help lowincome renters at risk of homelessness avoid eviction due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Project-Based Rental Assistance – $750 million to ensure the continuation of housing assistance for low-income individuals and families living in project-based rental assistance properties, and to ensure housing providers can take the necessary actions to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the pandemic.
  • Housing for the Elderly – $500 million to maintain operations at properties providing affordable housing for low-income seniors and to ensure housing providers can take the necessary actions to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic. To ensure access to supportive services for this vulnerable population, this includes $300 million for service coordinators and the continuation of existing congregate service grants for residents of assisted housing projects.
  • Housing for Persons with Disabilities – $200 million to maintain operations at properties providing affordable housing for low-income persons with disabilities, and to ensure housing providers can take the necessary actions to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Housing Counseling Assistance – $100 million to enable housing counselors to respond to the surge of demand for services, which include foreclosure and eviction mitigation counseling, in light of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill allows the purchase of technology and equipment so services can be provided through electronic means.
  • Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity – $14 million to address fair housing issues resulting from coronavirus. This includes $4 million for Fair Housing Organization Initiative 11 grants and $10 million for Education and Outreach grants to educate the public and the housing industry about fair housing rights and responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a recent report from Tax Foundation.org, they provide analysis on how the potential aid would be allocated to States and Localities along with the estimated relief funds provided to States (refer to excel attached).