CSAC Bulletin Article

Progress on Distribution of Realignment Backfill & Coronavirus Relief Funds

July 16, 2020

The Budget Act of 2020 provided $1 billion as a Realignment backfill for safety net services that counties administer on behalf of the state and $1.3 billion to counties from the Coronavirus Relief Fund for COVID-19 related expenses. Last week, through numerous conversations with the Governor’s office and the Department of Finance, CSAC made significant progress in establishing a process for this funding to distributed as quickly as possible and in securing clarity on the required compliance with health orders to receive this funding. We appreciate the partnership with the Governor’s Administration on this distribution plan, which will better equip counties to respond to the immediate costs of the pandemic and to preserve the safety net. Below are the key elements:

Realignment Backfill

  • County amounts were established on July 6 and CSAC drafted a methodology brief that explains how the amounts were determined.
  • Initial payment will be $125 million statewide (covering two months) as soon as possible after the July 10 certification form deadline.
  • The remaining balance of the backfill will be provided upon enactment of a budget trailer bill that allows the state to withhold the monthly allocation amount of the $750 million General Fund from a county’s 1991 Realignment funding, should a county be determined to be out of compliance. CSAC and county affiliates will work collaboratively with the Administration and the Legislature to ensure the passage of a trailer bill.
  • If no budget trailer bill is enacted, the remainder of the payments would be made in monthly installments of $62.5 million statewide.
  • All counties must provide monthly attestations that the county is complying with public health orders.

Coronavirus Relief Fund

  • Initial payment will be for one-sixth of the total amount (approximately $215 million) as soon as possible after the July 10 certification form deadline with identical payments on August 1 and September 1.
  • The remainder of the funds (approximately $650 million) will be provided after submission of the report and summary from counties that is due by September 1, as long as the county remains in compliance with health orders and federal guidance on use of the funds.

Compliance with Public Health Conditions

The required compliance with public health conditions and monthly attestations for the Realignment backfill includes the following three elements. 

  1. Meeting the contact tracing staffing level that is currently required for a county variance to the state public health order.
  2. Meeting the currently required commitment to actively participate in the State’s County Data Monitoring Program, and
  3. Undertaking efforts advised by the state for those counties that are on the County Data Monitoring List.

Not adopting any ordinances/resolutions or taking any actions that are inconsistent with the state’s stay-at-home order. If a county is in a situation with a sheriff not under its supervision violating condition #3, the state will engage the county on how to engage the sheriff. If there is no resolution, the state recommends that the county attest to its *own* commitment to follow and have enforcement plans for state and local orders. In all cases, state officials will work with local leaders to encourage compliance.

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