MD CARES Plan: $364M, Split Between Local Health and Local Govts

The State’s guidance for distribution of the federal CARES funds includes $364 million of local distributions -one half directed to local Health Departments in 19 counties, the other half to the county and municipal governments incurring new costs in combating the crisis.

A letter from the Maryland Department of Budget and Management, on April 16, set forth the distribution plan for the federal CARES Act funding. Under the bill, large local jurisdictions (over 500,000 in population) receive their funds by formula, through a direct application from the federal government. (That application is due today, April 17)

The remainder of Maryland’s allocation is in State hands, with an expected distribution of some share to its remaining local governments. The April 16 letter spells out the essentials of that framework:

The State share of the remaining funds is estimated to be $1.29 billion while the local government share is estimated to be $364 million. The State of Maryland filed an application with the U.S. Treasury on April 14, 2020 to receive these funds. We expect to be in receipt of the funds by April 24, 2020.

At this time, the State will award half of the local share to each remaining county for COVID-19 health related expenditures to be drawn down on a reimbursable basis through the local health departments.

The distribution of the funds, by county, is shown below: 

CARES by county

The terms for use of these funds are further described in the letter, but were set forth in the federal legislation, rather than by the State policy.

Federal negotiations are already underway to define parameters and priorities in an expected next wave of federal assistance. NACo and MACo have urged that such a plan feature a more robust direct local distribution to local governments. See previous Conduit Street coverage, Counties to Congress: Help Needed Here, On Front Lines.

Read the full DBM letter: County CARES Distribution_DBM




Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties