On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”) — a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package — a significant portion of which will be directed to the State of Ohio to support economic recovery, as outlined below.
Generally, the Act seeks to provide state and local governments with the resources needed to stabilize their economies following the shutdowns and COVID-19-related deficits incurred in 2020. As such, the Act directs these authorities to fund businesses, programs, and support infrastructure projects and related economic development.
Specifically, a total of $11.2 billion has been allocated to Ohio from the Act, half of which will go directly to the state government with the balance to be divided among Ohio’s municipalities.
The five (5) largest benefactors of the funds include the following counties:
- Franklin County: $255,380,000
- Cuyahoga County: $239,530,000
- Hamilton County: $158,540,000
- Summit County: $104,930,000
- Montgomery County: $103,120,000
The stimuli do not, however, come without caveats as to collection requirements and spending boundaries.
Each state or territory intending to collect their share of the funds is required to certify to the U.S. Treasury that it will use any payment in compliance with the use of fund restrictions, discussed below, before any distribution is made. Once the U.S. Treasury receives this certification, the department must make payment to the certifying entity within 60 days.
Counties, metropolitan cities and states as agents for non-entitlement units of local government will not, however, be required to complete certifications, and will instead receive funds in tranches, with the first tranche to be paid within 60 days of the American Rescue Plan becoming law, and the second tranche to be paid at least 12 months after the date on which the county, metropolitan city or state as an agent for non-entitlement unit of local government received its first payment.
The Act leaves broad authority to the state and local governments as to how the money may be directed with the main caveat requiring the ultimate support of COVID-19 economic recovery (e.g., vaccine distribution and other public health efforts, support for low-income citizens, small business relief, and aid to public education). Notably, there is a deadline to use the funds by each applicable jurisdiction — December 31, 2024.
For any questions on the American Rescue Plan Act, or for more information on allocations across the State of Ohio, please contact BMD Government Affairs Law Member Victoria Ferrise at 330.374.5184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.