New ARPA Rules as Federal COVID Emergency Expires – New Limits on Payroll Use, April 30 Report Due
Earlier this week Treasury released updated FAQs that outline how the termination of the COVID-19 National Emergency affects the ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds eligible uses.
Generally, counties will be able to continue investing ARPA funds as they currently are, there is one key difference as it relates to premium pay for essential workers. Key highlights of the FAQ include:
- Premium pay for essential workers: Treasury’s Final Rule states that counties can use ARPA dollars to provide premium pay to eligible workers performing essential worker during the COVID-19 public health emergency, which is only eligible when there is an active Public Health Emergency (PHE). Therefore, counties MAY NOT USE ARPA funds to provide premium pay to essential workers for work conducted AFTER the end of the National Emergency (ended on April 10, 2023). Counties may continue to use ARPA funds to provide premium pay to essential workers for work conducted BEFORE the termination of the National Emergency.
- Outside of premium pay, counties can continue to use ARPA funds to support workers through the public health and negative economic impacts eligible use category.
The other eligible use categories are not affected by the termination of the National Emergency. Key highlights of the FAQ for the other categories include:
- Public health and negative economic impacts: Counties may continue to use funds to respond to public health and negative economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not affected by the termination of the National Emergency. Counties may continue to invest funds as they have been since they certified.
- Revenue loss: The end of the National Emergency does not impact how counties calculate revenue loss according to the formula articulated in the final rule. The end of the National Emergency also does not have an impact on how recipients claim up to $10 million in revenue loss under the standard allowance.
- Water, sewer and broadband infrastructure: The end of the National Emergency does not have an impact on how counties may use ARPA funds under the water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure eligible use category.
On a related note, please make sure your members are aware of the upcoming Project and Expenditure (P&E) Report April 30, 2023 deadline – all counties are required to submit a report. NACo is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, April 19 at 4:00PM ET to review steps for how to submit a P&E Report and highlight new reporting requirements. To register for the webinar, click here.
Director of Government Affairs
National Association of Counties