Howard County is expecting $63.1 million in federal relief funding from the American Rescue Plan Act that was passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden. Funding was allocated on a population basis and must be used by Dec. 31, 2024. Howard County Government is expecting half of its allocation in the next 60 days, with the remaining half available one year after the first tranche is paid.
“This robust federal funding is vital to our current COVID-19 response and our long-term recovery,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “State and local governments have not received direct relief for nearly a year since the CARES Act was passed last March. We were able to get that funding into the hands of our residents and businesses who needed it most quickly and efficiently. When the federal government failed to provide funding to state and local governments in the stimulus package passed last December, we stepped up as a county with our own funding to continue providing short-term pandemic assistance to our community.
“Now that the American Rescue Plan has passed Congress and been signed into law by the President,” said Ball, “our residents will have the long-term resources needed to ensure an equitable vaccine distribution, continued support for our vulnerable residents and businesses, and the funding necessary for our fiscal recovery. I’m incredibly grateful to our federal delegation who worked to bring this relief to our community and set us on a successful path for recovery.”
Allowable uses of coronavirus state and local fiscal recovery funds include:
- Respond to or mitigate the COVID-19 health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, nonprofits and aid for tourism, travel and hospitality;
- To provide essential workers with premium pay; cover revenue loss as a result incurred as a result of the COVID-19 emergency; or
- To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure
State and local governments are prohibited from using the funds to support any pension fund or offset a tax cut.