State Fiscal Recovery Fund
The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, a part of the American Rescue Plan, delivers $350 billion to state, local, and Tribal governments across the country to support their response to and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Treasury has allocated $4.8 billion to the state of Georgia. To date, Georgia has received its first tranche funding in the amount of $2.4 billion.
Allowable Uses (Committee Focus Areas):
• Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries, and the public sector.
• Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and to expand access to broadband internet.
Additional Allowable Uses Not Eligible At This Time Under Committee Focus:
• Support public health expenditures, by funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, and certain public health and safety staff
• Replace lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic
• Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have borne and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors
State Fiscal Recovery Fund Award Timeline Update
2/1/2022 Governor Brian P. Kemp, joined by members of the Broadband Infrastructure Committee and state leaders, today announced almost $408 million in preliminary awards which will provide communities, households, and businesses in 70 Georgia counties access to faster and more reliable broadband.
Funding announcements on Water/Sewer Infrastructure and Negative Economic Impact are still forthcoming. Please continue to check back for more updates.
State Fiscal Recovery Fund applications are currently under final review. The United States Treasury issued the Final Rule for the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program on 1/6/2022. While we do not believe it will impact any of the work done to date, we need some time to validate. Broadband Infrastructure, Water/Sewer Infrastructure, and Negative Economic Impact award announcements should begin on or before January 30, 2022. All updates to the award process can be found on OPB’s State Fiscal Recovery Fund website https://opb.georgia.gov/state-fiscal-recovery-fund.
Please note all budget amounts are for planning purposes and are subject to change. Application dates and review timeline are all subject to change based on the volume of applications received and process development.
Strong Labor Standards in Water, Sewer, and Broadband Construction
As stated in the Supplementary Information to the interim final rule, Treasury encourages recipients to carry out investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure in ways that produce high-quality infrastructure, avert disruptive and costly delays, and promote efficiency. Treasury encourages recipients to use strong labor standards, including project labor agreements (PLAs) and community benefits agreements that offer wages at or above the prevailing rate and include local hire provisions. Treasury also recommends that recipients prioritize in their procurement decisions employers who can demonstrate that their workforce meets high safety and training standards (e.g., professional certification, licensure, and/or robust in-house training), that hire local workers and/or workers from historically underserved communities, and who directly employ their workforce or have policies and practices in place to ensure contractors and subcontractors meet high labor standards. Treasury further encourages recipients to prioritize employers (including contractors and subcontractors) without recent violations of federal and state labor and employment laws.
Furthermore, among other requirements contained in 2 CFR 200, Appendix II, all contracts made by a recipient or subrecipient in excess of $100,000 with respect to water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure project that involve employment of mechanics or laborers must include a provision for compliance with certain provisions of the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, 40 U.S.C. 3702 and 3704, as supplemented by Department of Labor regulations (29 CFR Part 5). Treasury will continue to seek information from recipients on their workforce plans and water, sewer, and broadband projects undertaken with SLFRF funds. This reporting will support transparency and competition by enhancing available information on the services being provided.
The Office of Planning and Budget will collect reporting information required by Treasury regarding Strong Labor Standards in Water, Sewer, and Broadband Construction based on the Reporting and Compliance Guide. Recipients of State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds under Water, Sewer, and Broadband Infrastructure should be prepared to respond accordingly.
Federal Uniform Guidance rules are applicable for American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Uniform Guidance can be found at 2 CFR Part 200, and it establishes uniform administrative, cost principles, and audit requirements for federal awards to non-federal entities.
Support Public Health Response
- Services to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including vaccination, medical expenses, testing, contact tracing, quarantine costs, capacity enhancements, and many related activities.
- Behavioral healthcare services, including mental health or substance misuse treatment, crisis intervention, and related services.
- Payroll and covered benefits for public health, healthcare, human services, and public safety staff to the extent that they work on the COVID-19 response.
Replace Public Sector Revenue Loss
- Ensure continuity of vital government services by filling budget shortfalls.
- Revenue loss is calculated relative to the expected trend, beginning with the last full fiscal year pre-pandemic and adjusted annually for growth.
- Recipients may re-calculate revenue loss at multiple points during the program, supporting those entities that experience revenue loss with a lag.
Water & Sewer Infrastructure
- Includes improvements to infrastructure, such as building or upgrading facilities and transmission, distribution, and storage systems.
- Eligible uses aligned to Environmental Protection Agency project categories for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund
- Additional flexibility for the hardest-hit communities and families to address health disparities, invest in housing, address education disparities, and promote healthy childhood environments.
- Broadly applicable to Qualified Census Tracts, other disproportionately impacted areas and when provided by Tribal governments.
Premium Pay for Essential Workers
- Provide premium pay to essential workers, both directly and through grants to third-party employers.
- Prioritize low- and moderate-income workers, who face the greatest mismatch between employment-related health risks and compensation.
- Key sectors include healthcare, grocery and food services, education, childcare, sanitation, and transit.
- Must be fully additive to a worker's wages.
- Focus on households and businesses without access to broadband and those with connections that do not provide minimally acceptable speeds
- Fund projects that deliver reliable service with minimum 100 MBPS download/ 100 MBPS upload speeds unless impracticable.
- Complement broadband investments made through the Capital Projects Fund.
Address Negative Economic Impacts
- Deliver assistance to workers and families, including support for unemployed workers, aid to households, and survivor's benefits for families of COVID-19 victims.
- Support small businesses with loans, grants, in-kind assistance, and counseling programs.
- Speed the recovery of impacted industries, including the tourism, travel, and hospitality sectors.
- Rebuild public sector capacity by rehiring staff, replenishing state unemployment insurance funds, and implementing economic relief programs.
- Changes that reduce net tax revenue must not be offset with American Rescue Plan funds.
- Extraordinary payments into a pension fund are a prohibited use of this funding.