New round of state distributions of federal CARES Act funds goes largely to renters, child care, disaster response, testing

By: Emily Makings
9:47 am
July 1, 2020

This week, the Office of Financial Management (OFM) distributed $351.0 million of federal CARES Act relief funds to various state agencies.

Of that, $163.0 million went to the Department of Commerce:

  • $100.0 million for low-income renters “experiencing hardship related to COVID-19 for up to three months,”
  • $20.0 million for small businesses as they “navigate the immediate hurdles to reopening,”
  • $20.0 million for nonprofits “helping address inequity and disparities exacerbated by the COVID crisis,”
  • $20.0 million for tribes, and
  • $3.0 million to “support more than 11,000 households with foreclosure, credit counseling and legal assistance.”

The Department of Children, Youth and Families received $61.4 million:

  • $29.0 million for grants to child care providers for “rent, utilities, personnel, food and supplies”;
  • $24.4 million for changes to the Working Connections Child Care program, including “waiver of the parent co-pay, automatic reauthorization from part-day to full-day care for school-age children, and changes to reauthorization requirements”; and
  • $8.0 million for summer support services for the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program.

The Department of Health received $45.0 million:

  • $35.0 million for disaster response activities, and
  • $10.0 million for testing and contract tracing, “beginning in Yakima.”

OFM itself received $39.8 million “to assist state agencies in closing out the 2020 fiscal year by covering the cost of their COVID-19 response activities and to expand the Disaster Cash Assistance Program for individuals who face an emergency and do not have the money to meet their basic needs.” (The Department of Social and Health Services had previously received $12.6 million for the Disaster Cash Assistance Program; that amount was reduced to $11.3 million last week.)

The remainder of the allocations went to the University of Washington, Administrative Office of the Courts, Department of Agriculture, and Office of Civil Legal Aid.

These allocations are similar to the preliminary outline OFM presented at a Ways & Means work session in June.

As part of the CARES Act, the state government received $2.167 billion in relief funds. (Generally, these funds must be used for new spending related to COVID-19 response.) In addition to this week’s allocations, OFM previously distributed $297 million to local governments and $91.3 million to three agencies. There is $1.428 billion left to allocate.

Categories: Budget.
Tags: CARES Act , COVID-19 , state action on COVID-19