LOC News

Governor Accepts Most of CRF Distribution Framework Agreement

Governor Brown’s office issued a letter responding to the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) local government work group recommendations that were submitted June 5. The letter outlines an agreement which includes a $20 million allocation of CRF funds to a pool for special districts to draw down on. More detail will be needed on this reimbursement process for special districts to proceed.

With a remaining balance of $134.9 million, there will be a 60/40 split between counties and cities, with counties receiving a larger share.  This leaves approximately $53.6 million allocated to cities based on a per-capita formula, and a minimum funding level for small cities: $25,000 for cities with a population less than 750 population, and at least $50,000 for those with a population greater than 750. The work group was hoping to see this model provide a direct distribution, but it is not.  More details will be coming soon, but based on the letter, the LOC believes the state is willing to work with cities that don’t have the resources to front the money.  It is likely that each city will need to develop a spending plan for their allocation and get the Oregon Department of Administrative Services to endorse the work plan in order to release the funds. More information will be needed, and the LOC will be working with the state to get more details for the process forward.

The letter is silent on the full spectrum of eligible expenses under the current U.S. Treasury guidance, but one of the principle elements of the work group recommendations was to make sure all eligible expenses under the guidance were applied to this remaining set of funds.  From the LOC’s perspective, the current guidance makes it clear that a state cannot further constrain the use of CRF funds by local governments. The LOC will be following up with the state to confirm this is in fact the case.

The League would like to thank its member cities for contacting their local legislators and the state’s leadership team to endorse the work group’s recommended framework for funding.  The LOC’s efforts on public policy issues are clearly enhanced when members help advance our advocacy.

Contact: Jim McCauley, Legislative Director - jmccauley@orcities.org

Last Updated 6/19/20

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