CSAC Bulletin Article

Federal Guidance on Essential Workforce, CARES Funds

April 23, 2020

The federal government has issued several important updates of interest to California counties. Read on for information on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce guidance as well as the much-anticipated guidance on “necessary expenditures” approved for reimbursement in the CARES act.


The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a new version of their Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce guidance on April 17. For this third iteration, CISA reorganized the healthcare and public health section to include Emergency Medical Services workers and added lawyers and legal aid workers to the list of essential workers. Version 3.0 also includes a new statement indicating that sick workers should avoid the workplace and colleagues. Read the guidance here, and please direct any questions to CISA.CAT@cisa.dhs.gov.


The US Treasury Department issued much-anticipated CARES Act guidance for state, local, and tribal governments regarding the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The document clarifies the requirement in the bill that funds may only be used for “necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency.”

As expected, CRF payments may not be used to cover loss revenue. However, the guidance specifies that payments can be used to cover expenses of providing paid sick and paid family and medical leave to public employees. The four-page guidance document provides several other specific examples of allowable and unallowable costs. The frequently asked questions document points out that unspent funds will need to be returned and that states may transfer funds to local agencies, along with two other questions. The Department also included a link to their general information page specific to the CRF.

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