While many Texans have been eagerly anticipating a $1,200 deposit from the IRS into their bank accounts, Governor Greg Abbott has announced how more funds from the $2 trillion stimulus package will be used.
Local governments — that is, any “non-statewide governmental body with the authority to establish a budget and impose taxes” — will be able to apply for part of a $37.8 million grant that comes from the massive emergency spending bill.
The funding specifically comes through the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) Program, which has allocated $850 million nationwide to states and local entities.
Texas received $42 million — from which it’s disbursing the $37.8 million — and specific counties and municipalities across Texas have been allocated $24.6 million, for a statewide total of $66.6 million from the CESF.
The state is receiving the second highest amount, between California’s total allocation of $93.7 million and Florida’s $50.3 million.
In order to qualify for receipt of the funds being funneled through the state (counties and municipalities receiving funds from the federal government directly will go through a different process), the entities must meet various requirements, such as certain standards for reporting of law enforcement data.
Local governments that operate a law enforcement agency are also required to comply with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in “notify[ing] DHS of all information requested by DHS related to illegal aliens in [their] custody [and] detain[ing] such illegal aliens in accordance with requests by DHS.”
The funds are supposed to be for coronavirus-related uses, such as the following, according to a press release from the governor:
- Personnel Overtime (Peace Officer, Jailer, Correctional Officer, Medical, and other Essential Staff)
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Supplies (i.e. gloves, masks, sanitizer, disinfectant)
- Temporary Staff
- Medical care for inmates that have tested positive for COVID-19
- Any other costs associated with the implementation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Guidance documents, specifically:
- Interim Guidance on Management of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Correctional and Detention Facilities
- What Law Enforcement Personnel Need to Know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United States
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
The funds will be prioritized for allocation across the 24 regional councils as follows:
- Panhandle Regional Planning Commission: $667,179
- South Plains Association of Governments: $808,781
- Nortex Regional Planning Commission: $303,721
- North Central Texas Council of Governments: $9,621,787
- Ark-Tex Council of Governments: $425,973
- East Texas Council of Governments: $1,208,554
- West Central Texas Council of Governments: $568,229
- Rio Grande Council of Governments: $1,081,360
- Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission: $560,201
- Concho Valley Council of Governments: $208,130
- Heart of Texas Council of Governments: $547,493
- Capital Area Council of Governments: $2,787,712
- Brazos Valley Council of Governments: $546,364
- Deep East Texas Council of Governments: $520,349
- South East Texas Regional Planning Commission: $683,216
- Houston-Galveston Area Council: $10,128,457
- Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission: $346,150
- Alamo Area Council of Governments: $3,053,904
- South Texas Development Council: $497,798
- Coastal Bend Council of Governments: $721,989
- Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council: $1,351,751
- Texoma Council of Governments: $274,438
- Central Texas Council of Governments: $555,328
- Middle Rio Grande Development Council: $309,421
After all eligible applications in a given region have been awarded, any remaining funds can be reallocated to another region.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. While recently finishing his degree in Political Science from Azusa Pacific University, he also interned in the U.S. Senate and co-authored a book on C. S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy. In his spare time, he might be reading up on Dostoevsky or attempting to write a novel.