Friday, March 19, 2021

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

 The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. Among its many provisions, the Act establishes the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, which includes $65.1 billion to counties.

 On Friday, March 19, AIC Executive Director David Bottorff and State Board of Accounts County Supervisor Lori Rogers hosted a live-streamed presentation about the ARP. To watch the video, click here: AIC and SBOA Discussion on ARP  

Here are some highlights, followed by links to several resources:

--Counties will have through the end of 2024 to spend their allocations.

AIC and SBOA presentation on the ARP
--County Commissioners will need to adopt an ordinance establishing the county's ARP funds. All expenditures out of the ARP funds must be appropriated by the County Council. The expenditures will follow the normal claims process.

--It will be important for County Commissioners and Councils to work together to think strategically and develop a long-term plan for use of the money.

--It will be crucial for counties to develop strong internal controls over the expenditures.


--The local ordinance should list allowable uses of the ARP funds and reference the county's plan. The ordinance and plan can be amended as needed.

--At this time, Treasury is working on guidance. It is possible that the U.S. Congress or Treasury may amend the guidance in the future.

--The first distribution of funds is expected in early May, 2021. The second distribution will occur in 2022.

Resources:

The National Association of Counties has a COVID-19 Recovery Clearinghouse page that includes the latest updates on the American Rescue Plan and county-by-county allocations.

For the SBOA Directive applicable to counties, cities, and towns that addresses accounting for the ARP funds, click here: State Examiner Directive 2021-1

For the SBOA March 18, 2021 memorandum that addresses accounting processes for the ARP, click here: March 18, 2021 Memorandum