Overview of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CSLFRF)
The federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided approximately $8.7 billion to Massachusetts through the new Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. The Commonwealth received $5.3 billion from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund (CSFRF). Municipalities and functional counties in the Commonwealth received $3.4 billion from the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CLFRF). Tribal governments in the Commonwealth received $25 million from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.
There are seven categories of eligible uses for the CSFRF and CLFRF:
Respond to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 or its negative economic impacts;
Provide premium pay to employees providing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency;
Provide government services to the extent of a government's reduction in revenue due to COVID-19;
Invest in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure; and
Provide emergency relief from natural disasters or the negative economic impacts of natural disasters, including temporary emergency housing, food assistance, financial assistance for lost wages, or other immediate needs.
- Surface transportation projects, utilizing funds for eligible projects through three pathways.
- Title I projects, investing in eligible activities under the CDBG and ICDBG programs, as listed in section 105(a) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.
Funds are specifically prohibited from being used for:
Offsetting tax cuts (Note: this provision applies only to the State Fiscal Recovery Fund); or
Public pension funds.
Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund (CSFRF)
Period 1: Executive Action
The Commonwealth received approximately $5.3 billion as a single payment on May 19, 2021 and moved quickly to use these funds to support immediate needs.
These efforts included Aid to Disproportionately Impacted Communities, COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave, and VaxMillions.
The Commonwealth has allocated $109.1 million from the CSFRF to provide aid to disproportionately impacted communities. The four communities – Chelsea, Everett, Methuen, and Randolph – were designated as “hardest hit” communities by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Due to the CLFRF funding formula for local governments, they were set to receive a disproportionately smaller amount of federal funding compared to other hard-hit communities.
Additional funds were distributed as follows:
Chelsea - $28.5 million
Everett - $33.3 million
Methuen - $26.3 million
Randolph - $21.0 million
This funding will allow the four municipalities to flexibly respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and supplement their recovery efforts to this unprecedented pandemic. Anticipated uses of the funding include direct response efforts, addressing negative economic impacts, making investments in water, sewer, broadband infrastructure, and provision of government services, as necessary. Each community submits quarterly reports through the ARPA CSFRF: Aid to Disproportionately Impacted Communities website found here.
On June 28, 2021, the Massachusetts Legislature made approximately $4.9 billion of the CSFRF allocation subject to legislative appropriation.
This action left approximately $200 million available to the Governor for critical initiatives. These programs included: HireNow Grant Program; Health & Human Services Workforce Stabilization Payments; Chapter 766 Schools; Administrative Use; and Future of Work/Document Digitization.
Period 2: Chapter 102 of the Acts of 2021
The Governor recommended $2.9 billion in CSFRF-supported spending for a range of COVID response and recovery initiatives on June 28, 2021.
On December 13, 2021, the Governor signed Chapter 102 of the Acts of 2021, a $4 billion spending plan to support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic with direct funding to health care, housing and homeownership, workforce development, and other key priorities.
The spending plan authorized up to $2.5 billion in spending from the Commonwealth’s total CSFRF allocation. The remaining $1.45 billion was appropriated from the state fiscal year 2021 budget surplus.
Chapter 102 requires the Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance to assign spending programs to federal or state revenue based on federal grant eligibility guidelines and regulations. These programs and projects continue to be designed and implemented across the Commonwealth.
Chapter 102 of the Acts of 2021 legislation includes $347 million earmarked to specific programs, projects, or organizations. See here for a list of the earmarks, including the amount and purpose.
Chapter 102 also includes the COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay program. The Legislature allocated $460 million for premium payments to Massachusetts workers. The law provided for the Administration to design the program and develop eligibility parameters that will ensure this critical support is provided quickly to deserving workers across the Commonwealth.
The following map and table are a breakdown of the first and second round of the Essential Employee Premium Pay program by municipality and can be found below.
Period 3: Chapter 268 of the Acts of 2022
On April 21, 2022, the Governor proposed “An Act Investing in Future Opportunities for Resiliency, Workforce, and Revitalization Downtown” (FORWARD). The legislation proposed various uses for the Commonwealth’s $2.3 billion unallocated CSFRF balance, including climate resiliency and preservation efforts, revitalization of the Commonwealth’s downtowns and communities, and funds for workforce efforts.
On November 10, 2022, the Governor signed into law Chapter 268, a $3.76 billion economic development bill. This spending plan includes efforts to promote economic development, strengthen health and human services, advance clean energy, expand affordable housing, and invest in local communities, businesses, and workers. The bill allows for spending from the General Fund and the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund.
Chapter 268 of the Acts of 2022 legislation includes over 600 earmarks for specific programs, projects, or organizations. See here for a list of the earmarks, including the amount and purpose.
Below is a spending table of federal CSFRF funds, which is broken down by policy area and department.
Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CLFRF)
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) was signed into law. This law provides resources through the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CLFRF) to local governments to respond to the public health emergency caused by the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
For resources for municipalities and counties on how to apply for CLFRF funding, please visit the Division of Local Services website.
Municipalities and counties in Massachusetts received $3.4 billion in CLFRF funding. Funding is allocated to municipalities and counties in several ways:
Municipalities: ARPA identifies two ways of allocating CLFRF Funding to municipalities, depending on whether the municipality is considered a “metropolitan city“ by the federal government.
The 38 metropolitan cities in Massachusetts received a combined $1.6 billion in CLFRF funding. Metropolitan cities must apply to the federal government for these funds.
The 313 nonentitlement units of government (NEUs) in Massachusetts received a combined $385 million in CLFRF funding. NEUs must request these funds from the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth receives these funds from the federal government and passes them on to municipalities as requested, but the Commonwealth has no control over the allocation amounts, eligible uses, or other requirements of these funds. This funding is being distributed in two tranches: the first half of the funds, or $192.5 million, were distributed to NEUs in July and August 2021, and the second half was distributed in July - September 2022.
Counties: ARPA allocates CLFRF funding to all counties. In Massachusetts, however, many counties have been abolished and no longer have functioning local governments.
The five functional counties in Massachusetts received a combined $393 million in CLFRF funding. Functional counties must apply to the federal government for these funds. Alternatively, functional counties may transfer their entire allocation to the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth has no ability to alter these allocations.
The eight abolished counties and Nantucket County in Massachusetts were allocated a total of $946 million in CLFRF funding. The federal government has directed the Commonwealth to reallocate these funds to municipalities in the non-functional counties on a per capita basis. This funding was distributed in two tranches: the first half of the funds, or $473 million, were distributed to municipalities in non-functional counties in August 2021, and the second half was distributed in September 2022.
See here for a breakdown of CLFRF allocations by municipality and tranche.
The tool below displays CLFRF allocations by municipality and county. Use the arrows at the bottom to toggle between:
A map view of allocations by municipality (including reallocations from non-functional counties);
A table view of allocations by municipality; and
A map and table view of allocations to functional counties.