Here's How Much Each State Should Receive from the CARES Act

The act, a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, will distribute $150 billion among states, localities, tribal governments and territories proportional to population. Here's how that distribution is likely to play out.

by / April 3, 2020

Heading into 2020, things looked pretty good for state and local government. The economy was strong, money was flowing and many budgets had healthy reserves built up.

Then COVID-19 came and sent the economy careening into a sudden recession. Now, many states are beginning to revise their budget estimates and brace for sharp drops in revenue that leave them looking for ways to fund programs and services.

Exactly what they do, what will get cut and by how much remains to be seen. But Congress has already stepped in with some emergency funding in the form of the CARES Act, passed toward the end of March, which will send $150 billion to state and local governments, as well as tribes and territories. The legislation specifies that the money is only to be used for "necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency."

The funding will be distributed proportionally to population, and some will be set aside for local governments — cities and counties — with populations larger than 500,000.

More money is available for a wide array of specific work such as telehealth, education and election security.

Here's a map showing how the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that the funds will be distributed, along with local government allocations:

Ben Miller Associate Editor of GT Data and Business

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.

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