American Rescue Plan Act

In May 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the launch of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to provide $350 billion in emergency funding for eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments. These funds can be used to respond to acute pandemic response needs, fill government revenue shortfalls, and support the communities and populations hardest-hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

The SLFRF funding provides substantial flexibility for each jurisdiction to meet local needs—including support for households, small businesses, impacted industries, essential workers, and the communities hardest-hit by the crisis. These funds also deliver resources that can be used to replace lost revenue to continue the provision of critical local governmental services, and fund much-needed public infrastructure projects and improvements.

Eligible costs include:

  • Support for urgent COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control;
  • Replace lost public sector revenue to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs;
  • Support for immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses; and,
  • Address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the inequal impact of the pandemic on certain populations.

The allocations under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 include:

TypeAmount ($ billions)
States & District of Columbia$    195.3
Counties$      65.1
Metropolitan Cities$      45.6
Tribal Governments$      20.0
Territories$        4.5
Non-Entitlement Units of Local Government$      19.5

Of this, Merced County was allocated a total of $53,936,085, to be disbursed in two equal tranches.  The first tranche was distributed on May 20, 2021 and the second tranche is scheduled for disbursement in May of 2022.

SLFRF funds may cover eligible costs from March 3, 2021 through December 31, 2024.  Funds must be obligated the above deadline, but the County will have until December 31, 2026 to complete any work and fully expend the funding.  As part of the American Rescue Plan Act the County is required to post reports regarding the funds on a dedicated website.  For more information, please visit the COVID-19 Economic Relief page at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.