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.
Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.
Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.