Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) recently introduced the State and Municipal Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) Act (S. 3752), which would establish the Coronavirus Local Community Stabilization Fund and provide $500 billion for FY 2020 (to remain available until expended) to state, local, and tribal governments. Similar to the Coronavirus Relief Fund, this newly created fund would be used to cover the cost of necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency.
Of the $500 billion, $16 billion would be reserved for tribal governments. The remaining funding would be allocated in three equally divided tranches:
- $161.3 billion based on population size;
- $161.3 billion based on COVID-19 infection rates; and
- $161.3 billion based on each state’s revenue loss in proportion to the combined revenue loss of all states from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
For each tranche of funding, one-sixth of the state’s allocation would be allocated to the state’s counties and one-sixth of the state’s allocation would be allocated to the state’s municipalities. Funds to states based on population size and infections rates would be distributed to counties and municipalities based on each county or municipality’s proportion of the state’s population. Funds to states based on revenue loss would be distributed to counties and municipalities based on each county or municipalities revenue loss in proportion to the state’s total revenue loss for CY 2020.
The SMART Act aligns with the National Governors Association’s request for a additional $500 billion for state fiscal relief. The press release notes that National Association of Counties, The United States Conference of Mayors, and the National League of Cities support the bill.