States, cities to receive first chunk of $350 billion in aid this week from COVID stimulus passed in March

Link: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/05/10/local-governments-receive-billions-covid-stimulus-plan-may-11/5019387001/

Excerpt:

State, city and county governments this week will receive their first infusion of direct aid from $350 billion in emergency funds approved in the American Rescue Plan, two months after President Joe Biden signed the COVID-19 relief package into law. 

The Biden administration launched an online portal Monday that will allow local and state governments to access their share of funds from the Treasury Department. The amount allocated for each state and municipality was determined by unemployment data.

Most will receive money in two tranches – one this year, the second in 12 months – but states that have seen their unemployment rates increase by 2% or more since February will receive funds in a single payment. Payments will begin within days. Money must be spent by the end of 2024.

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The Treasury Department also provided long-awaited guidelines on how funds can be used. State governments and territories are prohibited from using funds to offset tax cuts that were enacted after March 3, limitations that have already prompted the Republican attorney general from Ohio to sue the Biden administration. In addition, recipients cannot use funds to make a deposit to a pension fund or pad reserves.

Author(s): Joey Garrison

Publication Date: 10 May 2021

Publication Site: USA Today

Testimony Before a Subcommittee of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee

Link: https://www.manhattan-institute.org/hendrix-tax-tools-local-governments-ways-and-means

PDF of testimony: https://waysandmeans.house.gov/sites/democrats.waysandmeans.house.gov/files/documents/Michael%20Hendrix%20Testimony.pdf

Excerpt:

While America’s real GDP fell in 2020, states and local tax receipts actually increased—once you add in federal aid, revenues actually grew by nearly 10 percent. As their costs from fighting the pandemic grew and layoffs loomed, Congress rightly stepped up to help. There’s been $360 billion in direct relief for Covid-19 and hundreds of billions more in indirect aid—all told, Washington sent more than $1 trillion to states and localities last year.

Author(s): Michael Hendrix

Publication Date: 11 March 2021

Publication Site: Manhattan Institute

Durbin, Duckworth Announce Illinois Wins In COVID-19 Relief Bill

Link: https://www.durbin.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/durbin-duckworth-announce-illinois-wins-in-covid-19-relief-bill#new_tab

Excerpt:

U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today released the following statements after the Senate passed President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which will provide emergency relief to Illinois:

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To avoid dramatic budget cuts at every level of government:

Estimated $13.2 billion in state and local funding for Illinois including $1.8 billion for Chicago.

The bill provides an estimated $7.5 billion for the state and $5.5 billion for Illinois locals ($2.3 billion for counties; $2.4 billion for larger cities; $681 million for smaller municipalities).

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Multiemployer Pension Relief: 

By prolonging the solvency of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), more than 100,000 Illinoisans will have their hard-earned pension benefits preserved 

Author(s): Dick Durbin, Tammy Duckworth

Publication Date: 6 March 2021

Publication Site: Dick Durbin’s Senate Office