This week’s newsletter includes recent developments that every state leader needs to know about how states are spending pandemic funds, available infrastructure grants and updated reporting requirements for American Rescue Plan funds.
To view the CSG fiscal policy website, visit: web.csg.org/recovery.
States have until 2024 to allocate their share of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. In a multi-part series, CSG is reviewing how states are using the fund. The first brief, “How States are using American Rescue Plan Funds,” looks at the progress states have made in allocating their share of funds and how they compare with one another.
News, Updates and Resources
INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT AND JOBS ACT
Forest Services to invest $131 million in landscapes for fiscal year 2022
The goal of the initial investments is to protect communities and improve resilience in America’s forests. Based on the proposals included in the Wildfire Crisis Implementation Plan, the Forest Service selected 10 projects for $673.8 million in total funding[BS2] over the next four years to invest in 742,000 acres in eight states. More information about project funding, partners and goals can be found here.
These grants are designed to expand the use of wood products, strengthen emerging wood markets and support active management to improve forest health and resilience. These grants were initially bolstered by $12 million from the infrastructure act. A press release about the program can be found here and the wood innovations homepage is here.
Department of Energy launches bipartisan initiative to supply more clean energy to power grid
The Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange is a new partnership that will provide technical assistance to help solve regional, state and local interconnection energy issues. The partnership plans to connect grid operators, utilities, governments, clean energy developers and energy justice organizations to supply more clean energy to the power grid. A summary of the partnership can be found here.
Environmental Protection Agency announces federal working group to strengthen coordination of water resources management
The Water Reuse Interagency Working group, established under the infrastructure act, is made up of senior officials from 15 federal agencies. The group is charged with developing and coordinating actions, tools and resources to advance water reuse. More information about the group, including participating agencies, can be found here.
Department of the Interior announces $33 million in infrastructure investment to address legacy pollution and spur job creation
The investment will put people to work remediating and reclaiming 277 abandoned [JS4] oil and gas wells on public lands. The allocation is part of $250 million provided through the infrastructure act for initiatives on federal lands. The award list and more information about the investment can be found here.
Three fiscal year 2022 funding opportunities announced by the Department of Transportation
- Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning: $13.1 million available through the Federal Transit Administration; applications are due July 25
- Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Safety and Modernization Grant Program: $196 million available via Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; applications are due July 25
- University Transportation Centers: $90 million available through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology; applications are due Aug. 25
Department of Transportation grants temporary waiver of Buy America requirements for construction materials
The waiver is applicable to awards obligated between May 14, 2022 and Nov. 10, 2022 and will expire Nov. 10, unless extended. More information on Buy America provisions can be found here and the notice can be found here.
White House publishes American Rescue Plan Equity Report
The report summarizes work undertaken by the administration to advance equity through the design and implementation of programs funded through the act. The report looks specifically at case studies and can be found here.
Pandemic Response Accountability Committee publicizes pandemic spending data
The committee announced the publication of updated Coronavirus Relief Fund spending by states, eligible local governments, tribal governments, Washington, D.C. and U.S. territories, as well as newly available data on the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. Data is only available on the committee website on a dedicated Coronavirus Relief Fund dashboard.
Department of the Treasury updates reporting guidance and templates for State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds
Updated guidance for compliance and reporting, as well as a template for the Recovery Plan Performance Report, are available to incorporate the final rule adopted in Jan. The reports and guidance will be effective for the upcoming July 31 report submission and can be found here.
Department of Agriculture requests comment on information collection for Regional Food Business Centers
The department is looking for feedback on how information is collected and used to enhance the functions of the agency. Collected information will promote effective program implementation and ensure compliance with program evaluations. Comments will be accepted through June 27. More information about the request can be found here.
Department of Agriculture announces framework for strengthening the food supply chain and making the food system more fair, competitive and resilient
The new framework will provide more options, increase access and create new markets for small and mid-size producers. Funding for the investments will be provided through the infrastructure act and other relief legislation.
Department of Education reminds recipients of Sept. 30 deadline to obligate funds
This deadline is for obligating funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund. A list of deadlines and announcements can be found here.
Department of Education updates Maintenance of Effort waiver requests
The updates to waiver requests can be found here.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services publishes website enhancements for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program renewals
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched enhancements to Medicaid.gov to help beneficiaries renew their coverage. These enhancements include recommendations, advice for what users can do if they no longer qualify and a map that covers each state’s Medicaid enrollment information. The website can be found here.
Administration for Children and Families publishes fact sheet on Family Violence Prevention and Services Act Program
The program appropriated $200 million for domestic violence programs, tribes, resource centers and hotlines; $198 million to support sexual assault survivors; and $49.5 million for culturally specific domestic violence and sexual assault programs. More information about the program and its funding can be found here.
Administration for Children and Families releases final rule providing Paternity Establishment Percentage Performance Relief
The rule modifies the Paternity Establishment Percentage from 90 percent to 50 percent for fiscal years 2020-2022. Additional guidance can be found here.
Administration for Community Living provides funding opportunity for State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
The Administration for Community Living is providing $17.9 million for states to enhance the process to respond to and resolve complaints about abuse and neglect. States wishing to participate must submit program plans by June 24, 2022. To access the application, click here.
Administration for Community Living provides funding opportunity for grants to enhance Adult Protection Services
The Administration for Community Living is awarding $164 million in fiscal year 2022. States wishing to participate must submit a letter of assurance by June 24, 2022. To access the application click here.
The Federal Communications Commission receives $2.8 billion in application requests in the third and final application window for Emergency Connectivity Fund
The commission expects to be able to fund requests from many of the schools, school districts, libraries, library systems and consortia that applied. Applications will be prioritized by need with a preference to those in rural areas. More information can be found here.
Federal Communications Commission sets July 31, 2023 as the invoicing deadline for round two of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program
They will also provide awardees with more information on the post-program report, which should not be filed later than Jan. 31, 2024. More information can be found here.
Department of the Treasury moves the deadline for State Small Business Credit Initiative program Technical Assistance grants
The technical assistance application deadline is extended to Sept. 1, 2022. The department published guidelines for the grant program on April 28 that can be found here. Revised Capital Program reporting guidance can be found here.