Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021

By House Appropriations Committee Staff , | 8 months ago

Note: Coronavirus response and relief provisions were included as part of the final federal fiscal year 2021 budget package in H.R. 133. The following items are targeted to coronavirus response and relief.

Provisions with material impacts to Pennsylvania (PA), residents, businesses, and other entities are outlined below. Not all funding will flow through the commonwealth. Where no PA funding is indicated, funds are assumed to flow directly from the federal government to the residents, businesses, or other entities. Where a PA impact is able to be estimated, it is noted. Where PA expects to receive funds, but an estimate is not yet available, a note is included.

Individual Payments

  • $600 per individual taxpayer, $1,200 for joint filers and $600 for each qualifying child (under age 17).
  • Income limits are $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for head of household filers and $150,000 for joint filers (reduced payments for income levels above those limits).
  • Treated as a tax credit against 2020 income and paid as an advance refund.

Unemployment

  • Additional $300/week FPUC benefit until March 14, 2021.
    • Some individuals who have at least $5,000 in self-employment income could qualify for an extra $100/week benefit under “Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation.” The benefit could help individuals whose benefits are lower because self-employment income is not counted for state UC benefits. Ends 3/14/21.
  • Extends PUA through March 14, 2021. Increases the maximum number of weeks that can be claimed from 39 to 50. Eligible individuals receiving benefits as of March 14 can continue to receive through April 5.
    • Requires people receiving PUA as of 1/31/21 to submit documentation to substantiate employment. States will also be required to have identity verification systems for PUA.
  • Extends the extra weeks of unemployment for claimants who exhausted their weeks of state unemployment under Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) until March 14. Individuals receiving benefits as of March 14 can continue to receive until April 5, 2021. Increases the total extra weeks available from 13 to 24.
  • Extends the CARES Act provision that covered 50 percent of the UC charges for non-profit and other reimbursable employers through March 14, 2021.

Housing

  • $25 billion for Emergency Rental Assistance
    • PA Impact: $852.2 million total estimated state allocation. UPDATED 1/21/21
    • Local jurisdictions with a population greater than 200,000 may also apply directly to the U.S. Treasury for funds. The allocation to local jurisdictions will reduce the total state allocation. Estimated allocation to local jurisdictions:
      • Allegheny County - $36,288,000
      • Berks County- $12,568,000
      • Bucks County- $18,748,000
      • Chester County- $15,666,000
      • Cumberland County- $7,561,000
      • Dauphin County- $8,305,000
      • Delaware County- $16,912,000
      • Erie County- $8,049,000
      • Lackawanna County- $6,257,000
      • Lancaster County- $16,285,000
      • Lehigh County- $11,021,000
      • Luzerne County- $9,472,000
      • Montgomery County- $24,795,000
      • Northampton County- $9,110,000
      • Philadelphia County- $47,269,000
      • Washington County- $6,173,000
      • Westmoreland County- $10,411,000
      • York County- $13,400,000
      • Remaining state allocation: $569,400,000
    • No less than 90 percent of the funds must be used for direct financial assistance including: rent, rental arrears, utilities and home energy costs, utility and home energy arrears and other expenses necessary to ensure the residents’ health and safety
    • No more than 10 percent of the funding can be used for housing stability services such as case management and other services intended to maintain stable housing.
    • Generally, eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance, plus an additional three months if necessary, to ensure housing stability.
    • Grantees can only commit to provide assistance in three-month increments, after which the household must reapply for funding.
    • Either an eligible household or landlord can apply for rental assistance on the household’s behalf.
    • Generally, payments for assistance are made directly to the landlord and/ or utility service; however, the grantee can provide fund directly to the household, if the landlord does not wish to participate.
    • An eligible household is defined as a renter household that meets the following criteria:
      • Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
      • Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing stability; and
      • Has a household income no more than 80 percent of the area median.
    • Income must be recertified every three months if the household is receiving ongoing assistance.
  • Extends the CDC eviction moratorium through January 31, 2021

Business Assistance

  •  $284.45 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through March 31, 2021
    • Allows businesses with less than 300 employees and revenue losses of at least 25 percent to apply for another round of PPP funding (PPP Second Draw Loans).
    • The maximum loan amount is $2 million for business with multiple locations.
    • Borrowers may receive full loan forgiveness if they spend at least 60 percent of the loan on payroll costs over a time period of their choosing between 8 and 24 weeks.
    • This act clarifies that the amount of forgiveness related to a PPP loan is not treated as gross income for tax purposes. Deductible expenses are allowed to be taken out of the proceeds of PPP loans that are forgiven.
    • An entity that was not in operation on February 15, 2020 is not eligible for a PPP loan.
    • Churches and religious organizations are eligible for funding. 
    • Certain 501 (c)(6) nonprofits and destination marketing organizations are now eligible for funding.
  • $25 million for the Minority Business Development Centers program under the Minority Business Development Agency
    • Provides minority enterprises with support as they prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus. This includes identifying and accessing local, State and Federal government resources.
  • $57 million for the Microloan program
    • Increases access to micro capital and technical assistance for businesses.
  • $15 billion for grants to shuttered live venues, theaters, museums, and zoos
    • Must demonstrate a 25 percent decrease in revenues.
    • Grants may be used for payroll, rent, utilities and personal protective equipment.
    • Grants will be distributed through the Small Business Administration (SBA).
    • Entities that receive a grant cannot obtain a PPP loan.
  • $20 billion for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program
  • $3.5 billion to continue SBA’s Debt Relief program

Community and Economic Development

  • $9 billion to establish the Emergency Capital Investment Program
    • Used to make capital investments to low- and moderate income (LMI) financial institutions
  • $3 billion for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund 
    • $1.25 billion will be made available until September 30, 2021. This funding will be used to support, prepare for and respond to the economic impact to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • $1.75 billion to provide grants and other financial assistance to CDFIs. This funding will be available until all dollars are expended.

Education UPDATED 1/15/21

  • $81.88 billion for the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF)
    • More than 2.5 times the total amount provided in the CARES Act – new funds must be spent by September 30, 2022
    • The ESF dollars are split into three pots - Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds, and Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) funds (share to be determined).
      • ESSER – PA Share is $2.2 billion
        • The federal law determines the distribution for the vast majority ($2 billion of the $2.2 billion) of ESSER funds – school districts and charter schools will receive amounts proportional to their Title I, Part A funding (a federal formula largely based upon poverty metrics).
        • The federal law permits PA to spend $211 million at its discretion and $11 million on administrative costs.
        • On 1/15/2021, the PA Department of Education announced  the preliminary allocations of the ESSER funds and opened the application window for this funding. PDE also signaled its intent to distribute the discretionary and administrative ESSER allotments (combined $222 million) using the federal Title I, Part A formula.
        • Compared with the CARES Act, this second round of ESSER funding has many of the same eligible uses (cleaning supplies, technology, unique needs of certain populations, planning, mental health, etc.) with additional notable items such as addressing learning loss and projects to improve indoor air quality and remove environmental health hazards.
      • GEER – PA’s share is $197 million, with $47 million being discretionary and $150 million reserved for non-public schools
        • The Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools is a new parameter, and it explicitly excludes spending on vouchers, education savings accounts, tax credits, and scholarships. To be eligible, non-public schools cannot apply for the new PPP funds.

                   

Comparing the Education Stabilization Funding in the CARES Act (Spring 2020) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act (Winter 2020) CARES Act - Spring 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act - Winter 2020
Statutory Provision Corresponding Dollar Amount PA Impact PA Share Statutory Provision Corresponding Dollar Amount Est. PA Impact Est. PA Share
Education Stabilization Fund Total $30,750,000,000       $81,880,000,000      
Off the top distributions:                
Set-aside for outlying areas and the Bureau of Indian Education 1.0% $307,500,000 $0 0% 1.0% $818,800,000 $0 0%
Competitive set-aside for states with the highest COVID-19 burden 1.0% $307,500,000 $0 0% 0.0%   $0 0%
Remaining Education Stabilization Fund Balance   $30,135,000,000       $81,061,200,000    
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) 43.9% $13,229,265,000 $523,807,198 3.96% 67.0% $54,311,004,000 $2,224,964,030 4.10%
Distributed to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) 90.0% $11,906,338,500 $471,426,478   90.0% $48,879,903,600 $2,002,467,627  
Distribution determined by the State Education Agency (SEA) 9.5% $1,131,102,158 $49,761,684   9.5% $5,159,545,380 $211,371,583  
Available amount for SEA administrative costs 0.5% $5,655,511 $2,619,036   0.5% $271,555,020 $11,124,820  
Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) 9.8% $2,953,230,000 $104,418,240 3.54% 5.0% $4,053,060,000    
Traditional GEER           $1,303,060,000 $47,074,771 3.61%
Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools         $2,750,000,000   $150,022,294 5.5%
Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEER) 46.3% $13,952,505,000 $526,141,000 3.77% 28.0% $22,697,136,000 TBD  
  • $50 million for Project AWARE to support school-based mental health
  • Head Start – $250 million nationally to be distributed pro rata based on agency enrollment

Higher Education

  • Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund - $22.7 billion nationally
    • Distributed directly to institutions of higher education by formula.
    • It appears that institutions will need to use their institutional allocations to provide the same level of aid to students that they provided in the spring through the CARES Act distributions, though the U.S. Dept. of Education may interpret the provisions differently. Colleges and universities can broadly use the funding to defray COVID-related expenses and other costs.

Health and Human Services

  • $4.5 billion for states and other localities to plan, prepare for, promote, distribute, administer, monitor, and track coronavirus vaccine distribution, access and coverage
    • $1 billion within 21 days of enactment
    • Not less than $300 million for high-risk and underserved populations, including racial and ethnic minority populations and rural communities
    • PA Impact: $115.7 million, including Philadephia allocation UPDATED 1/6/21
  • $1.65 billion for grants for the substance abuse prevention and treatment block grant
    • PA Impact: $52.5 million estimated
  • $1.65 billion for grants for community mental health service block grant
    • PA Impact: $51.5 million estimated
  • $50 million for suicide prevention programs
  • $240 million for emergency substance use or behavioral health grants
  • $10 billion for child care assistance for low-income families (CARES Act included $3.5 billion)
    • Eases restriction on families that can receive support and uses of funds
    • May be used for relief from copays and to assist child care providers experiencing decreased enrollment or closures
    • States are encouraged to place conditions on payments to ensure that a portion of funds are used to pay salaries and wages of staff
    • May be used to provide child care assistance to health care sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, farmworkers, and other workers deemed essential without regard to income
    • States must use a portion of funds to provide assistance to providers not participating in subsidized child care program with costs of cleaning and sanitation
    • State plans on use of funds are due 60 after enactment
    • PA Impact: $292 million estimated
  • $100 million for Aging and Disability Services authorized under Subtitle B – Elder Justice of Title XX of the Social Security Act
    • Not less than $50 million shall be for implementation of Grants to Enhance the Provision of Adult Protective Services
    • PA Impact: $4.7 million estimated
  • $22.945 billion for Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund
    • $19.695 billion for federal vaccine manufacturing, production, and purchases
    • $3.25 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile
  • $22.4 billion for Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund
    • For states and other localities for testing, contact tracing, surveillance, containment, and mitigation, including support for workforce, epidemiology, employers, elementary and secondary schools, child care facilities, institutions of higher education, long-term care facilities, or other settings to scale up of testing by public health, academic, commercial,  hospital laboratories, community-based testing sites, mobile testing units, health care facilities, and other entities engaged in COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, surveillance, containment, and mitigation
    • Distributed according to Public Health Emergency Preparedness funding
    • To be available within 21 days of enactment
    • $2.5 billion shall be for strategies for improving testing capabilities and other purposes in high-risk and underserved populations, including racial and ethnic minority populations and rural communities
    • PA Impact: $736.9 million, including Philadelphia allocation UPDATED 1/6/21
  • $3 billion to reimburse eligible health care providers for health care related expenses or lost revenues due to coronavirus (Provider Relief Fund - CARES Act established at $100 billion and PPP&HCE Act increased by $75 billion)
    • Eligible heatlh care providers include public entities, Medicare and Medicaid enrolled suppliers and providers, and other for-profit and not-for profit entities that provide diagnosis, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19
  • Provides a Medicare physician fee schedule increase and temporarily suspends Medicare sequestration

Transportation

  • $2 billion for Airports (FAA) - Grants-in-Aid (CARES Act allocated $10 billion)
    • 100 percent Federal Grant, no match required
    • PA Impact (projected): $48.6 million UPDATED 12/28/20
    • Designated for operating/personnel costs and economic relief for airport retailers and small airports
      • $1.75 billion for Commercial Service Airports
      • $200 million to provide relief to airport concessionaires related to rent and minimum guaranteed payments
      • $45 million for General Aviation Airports
      • $5 million for communities with small airports
  • $16 billion for extension of the Aviation Workers Payroll Support Program (CARES Act allocated $32 billion)
    • $15 billion for passenger air carrier workers
    • $1 billion for employees of contractors providing ground services to air carriers
  • $10 billion for State Departments of Transportation to be used for Highway Improvement Projects designated from the Surface Transportation Block Grant, uses include:
    • Preventive/routine highway maintenance
    • Operating/Personnel costs and may also support tolling agencies
    • PA Impact (projected):
      • Urbanized Areas (population over 200,000) - $64.01 million
      • Any Other Areas - $343.14 million
      • Pennsylvania’s portion of these funds, could be utilized to cover PennDOT’s borrowing needs, as it relates to cash-flow necessities for the Construction Program.
  • $1 billion for AMTRAK to continue to provide current service and prevent additional furloughs
    • $655 million for the Northeast Corridor (CARES Act allocated $492 million)
    • $345 million for the National Network (CARES Act allocated $526 million)
      • $175 million of which is for state-supported routes
  • $14 billion in Transit Emergency Relief for transit agencies (CARES Act allocated $25 billion)
    • $13.3 billion to Urban Transit Agencies
      • Allocation based on Urbanized Area Formula Grants 49 U.S.C. 5307 UPDATED 12/28/20
      • PA Impact: $457.3 million (CARES Act PA allocation $524.99 million) UPDATED 1/11/21
    • $679 million to Rural Transit Agencies
      • Allocation based on Rural Area Formula Grants 49 U.S.C. 5311 UPDATED 12/28/20
      • PA Impact: No allocation (CARES Act PA allocation $67.92 million) UPDATED 1/11/21
    • $50 million to states for the transportation needs of older adults and people with disabilities
      • PA Impact (projected): $2.5 million UPDATED 1/11/21
  • $2 billion for Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS)
    • Passenger transportation services including:
      • Bus/Motor Coach/Passenger Vessels

Food and Nutrition

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • For the period January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021, household benefits will increase to 15 percent above the June 2020 benefit amount
    • $100 million for states for SNAP administrative costs during the COVID public health emergency -- it appears the usual 50 percent state match requirement may not apply
      • 75 percent based on state share of SNAP households for the most recent 12-month period available
      • 25 percent based on state share of SNAP household increase for the most recent 12-month period available
    • Pandemic unemployment payments shall not be counted as income nor resources in determining SNAP eligibility in the month received and nine months following
    • Extends SNAP eligibility to students enrolled at least half time in an institution of higher education who are eligible to participate in a state or federal work study program or who have an expected family contribution of zero – goes through 30 days after the public health emergency is over
    • Clarifies that pandemic electronic benefits (P-EBT) may be issued to households receiving SNAP with children under age 6 whose school or child care facility is closed or on reduced attendance
  • $400 million for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
    • CARES Act allocated $450 million
    • PA Impact: unclear at this point (PA CARES Act allocated $16.8 million)
  • $168 million for nutrition services under title III
    • For subparts 1 and 2 of part C of title III
      • Subpart 1 – Congregate Meals
      • Subpart 2 – Home Delivered Meals
    • PA Impact: $7.1 million  UPDATED 2/8/21
  • $13 million for Commodity Supplemental Food Program
    • Works to improve the health of low-income seniors by supplementing their diets with nutritious foods
    • PA Impact: unclear at this point

Agriculture

  • $11.18 billion COVID-related assistance (CARES Act allocated $9.5 billion) to aid:
    • Agricultural producers/growers/processors
      • $1.5 billion for purchase and distribution of agricultural products, including fresh produce/dairy/meat/seafood
    • Specialty/Non-specialty crops
    • Dairy/Livestock/Poultry
      • $1 billion for contract growers of livestock/poultry
    • $200 million in remittances for timber harvesting/hauling
    • $200 million for nutrition research
    • $400 million to aid dairy donations to food banks and feeding programs, driven out through the Dairy Margin Coverage
    • $28 million in grants to State Department of Agriculture to expand/sustain stress assistance programs for individuals engaged in agriculture operations/activities
      • PA Impact: $500,000 projected allocation
    • $100 million for Special Crop Block Grants
      • Direct Federal allocation
    • $100 million for Local Agriculture Marketing Program
    • $75 million for Farming Opportunities Training and Outreach (FOTO)
    • $75 million for the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Assistance Program

Broadband Internet Access Service

  • $285 million to support a pilot program under the National telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which will provide grants to historically Black and minority serving institutions to increase broadband access.
  •  $3.2 billion to establish the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
    • Provides households with a discount of up to $50 off (or $75 on Tribal lands) the cost of internet service and a subsidy for low-cost devices such as computers and tablets
  • $250 million to the FCC for COVID-19 Telehealth Program (CARES Act allocated $200 million
  • $300 million to establish a broadband deployment program at NTIA, which supports broadband infrastructure deployment to areas (specifically rural areas) lacking broadband.

Other

  • Extends the period for state and municipal use of Coronavirus Relief Funds from December 30, 2020 to December 31, 2021.
  • Terminates a number of Treasury and Federal Reserve lending facilities established by the CARES Act effective 12/31/2020. Approximately $429 billion of unspent funds appropriated to these programs will be redirected for other purposes.
  • A special temporary rule for Earned Income Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits allows taxpayers to use their income from 2019 for the basis, if their 2020 income was lower, which will allow for a larger refund.
  • Provides up to $2 billion in assistance to states for families with funeral expenses due to COVID-19 through December 31, 2020.

 

Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021

By House Appropriations Committee Staff , | 8 months ago

Table of Contents