The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was established on March 27, 2020, and with it the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund. The Act requires that the payments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) only be used to cover expenses that:
- Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19);
- Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government; and
- Were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.
The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) provides an opportunity to identify and cover the costs of the County's significant efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Sacramento County's Share of the Coronavirus Relief Fund
California received $15 billion of the CRF. Local governments (such as counties and cities) with populations in excess of 500,000 received payment amounts. Sacramento County received $181 million from the CRF.
The Board of Supervisors declared a Local and Public Health Emergency on March 19, 2020. County operations shifted significantly to focus on the response to and meet the critical Public Health needs of the pandemic.
On April 21, 2020, the Board of Supervisors authorized the County Executive to apply for, accept and draw down funding from Federal and State Governments related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The County Executive established the Coronavirus Fund Relief Committee to review and recommend fund payment expenditures to County Departments. The CRF Committee consists of:
- Chief, Office of Emergency Services (Chair)
- Deputy County Executive, Social Services
- Deputy County Executive, Administrative Services
- Deputy County Executive, Public Works and Infrastructure
- Chief Fiscal Officer
- Director of Finance
- Director of Personnel Services
How the County Determines the Use of the Coronavirus Relief Funds
The CRF Committee requested that all departments identify expenses related to combating the coronavirus, and the Committee approves expenditures that meet the requirements of the Coronavirus Relief Fund.
To date, departments have requested approximately $350 million for CRF. The Committee approved expenditures that were eligible for CRF funding. The Committee did not approve funding for items that would be eligible for other State and Federal funds.
The Committee submitted an interim report on costs incurred through CRF proceeds, submitted to the U.S. Department of the Treasury on July 17, 2020. The report covers costs from March 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2020.
U.S. Treasury has asked local governments to provide the first detailed quarterly report on September 21, 2020, and the County will provide that information.
“For months now, many of our constituents have rightfully expressed interest in how Sacramento County is utilizing its allocation of CARES Act funding," said First District Supervisor and Board Chairman Phil Serna. He added that, “These initial figures tell the story, and demonstrate we're not only committed to the judicious use of these resources, but that we're doing what is expected of us to respond effectively to the pandemic."
All CRF payments will be subject to the Single Audit Act. Every fiscal year, the County is audited for all grants received from the federal government by external auditors.
|Transferred to other Governments||$0.00|
|Payroll for Public Health and Safety Employees*||$132,857,301.43|
|Budgeted Personnel and Services diverted to a substantially different use||$4,465,562.87|
|Improvements to telework capabilities of Public Employees||$67,701.36|
|Public Health Expenses||$217,623.57|
|Expenses associated with the Issuance of Tax Anticipation Notes||$0.00|
|All items not listed above||$6,296,050.20|
*No New Staff were hired
Categories of Spending:
Transferred to Other Governments: Not applicable to Sacramento County.
Payroll for Public Health and Safety Employees: $132,857,301.43.
- Eligible employee salary and benefits consistent with Department of Treasury Guidelines
The Guidance from the U.S. Treasury for the use of the Coronavirus Relief Fund is as follows:
“The Guidance says that funding can be used to meet payroll expenses for public safety, public health, health care, human services, and similar employees whose services are substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The Fund is designed to provide ready funding to address unforeseen financial needs and risks created by the COVID-19 public health emergency. For this reason, and as a matter of administrative convenience in light of the emergency nature of this program, a State, territorial, local, or Tribal government may presume that payroll costs for public health and public safety employees are payments for services substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency."
The guidance further states that, “the entire payroll cost of an employee whose time is substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency is eligible, provided that such payroll costs are incurred by December 30, 2020."
Read the U.S. Treasury FAQs on Coronavirus Relief Funds
Budgeted Personnel and Services Diverted to a Substantially Different Use: $4,465,562.87
- Emergency Sick Leave and actual time spent by staff whose duties were redirected due to coronavirus.
Improvements to Telework Capabilities of Public Employees: $67,701.36
- Laptops for staff to perform duties remotely: $24,298.93
- Laptops and carts to provide telemedicine: $43,402.43
*Medical Expenses: $4,056,586.22
- Medical support to the homeless population: $825,997.00
- Medical contract staff at County Correctional Facilities: $3,193,814.59
- PPE and Supplies for County Correctional Facilities: 36,774.63
*Public Health Expenses: $217,623.57
- Contact Tracing: $9,922.00
- PPE and cleaning supplies: $73,374.84
- Homeless Response Plan Motel Rooms: $54,273.00
- Business Navigator Program: $46,200.00
- PSA on Child Abuse Awareness: $10,000.00
- Coroner Indigent Cremation Program and refrigerated unit: $23,853.73
*All requests submitted by Health Services were approved.
Distance Learning: Not applicable to Sacramento County.
Economic Support: $7,127.00
- Restaurant Outdoor Dining Permits
Expenses Associated with the Issuance of Tax Anticipation Notes: Not applicable to Sacramento County.
All Items Not Listed Above: $6,296,050.20
- Administrative Day Off for staff who were unable to perform duties during the Public Health Emergency**: $6,272,524.83
- Project RoomKey Motel Security: $18,491.00
- Accommodations to hold virtual public meetings: $1,450.77
**U.S. Treasury Guidelines indicate that “if the cost of an employee was allocated to administrative leave to a greater extent than was expected, the cost of such administrative leave may be covered using payments from the Fund."