Overview of COVID-19 Related Federal Legislation
The federal government is expected to provide approximately $115 billion in aid to Massachusetts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding was provided through three mechanisms: direct aid provided by the federal government to individuals, businesses, non-profits, or non-state public entities; targeted aid administered by the Commonwealth; and flexible federal aid to the Commonwealth.
$63 billion was provided through federally directed aid to businesses, individuals, and public entities. This funding was provided through programs like the Paycheck Protection Program for businesses, stimulus checks for individuals, and Federal Transit Authority grants for Regional Transportation Authorities.
$41 billion was provided to the Commonwealth through targeted aid administered by the Commonwealth, including $28 billion to support COVID-related Unemployment Insurance benefits and $2.9 billion through the Elementary and Secondary Education Emergency Relief Fund. Although the Commonwealth administers these funds, state agencies are restricted by specific federal rules about who they can distribute funds to, how much, and for what purposes.
$11 billion was provided to the Commonwealth through flexible aid, including the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CvRF) and the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CSLFRF). These funding sources still have federal rules about how funds can be used, but the Commonwealth has more flexibility in deciding how and where money should be spent. The Commonwealth received $2.5 billion for the Coronavirus Relief Fund and $5.3 billion for the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund. Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the City of Boston received $121 million and Plymouth County received $91 million. Through the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, Massachusetts’ municipalities and functional counties received $3.4 billion.
The table below summarizes funding directed to Massachusetts by major federal legislation in response to COVID-19:
Total Targeted Federal Awards to Commonwealth Agencies
$41 billion is expected to be provided to Commonwealth agencies through either targeted federal aid programs or flexible aid. Most notably, this includes nearly $28 billion for COVID-related Unemployment Insurance benefits and administrative funding provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) and extended via the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Other key estimated funding streams include the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds ($2.9 billion); the enhanced Federal Assistance Percentage (FMAP), which is expected to generate approximately $2.6 billion; the Epidemiological and Laboratory Capacity grant program (estimated $1.8 billion across several pieces of legislation); the Emergency Rental Assistance Program ($843 million); the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance Grant program (expected to generate about $641 million); child care stabilization funding ($314 million); and other targeted programs.