CARES Act and grant funding: How it will immediately benefit local police response

Each state will receive a minimum of $1.25 billion

The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act provides $150 billion for a coronavirus relief fund to make payments to states and tribal governments and direct payments to some large units of local government within 30 days of the enacted date. This bill was signed into law on March 27, 2020.

The summary below outlines how the Act will impact grants for state and local governments responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • About $139 billion will be allocated by population of a state/units of local government. 
    • No local government may receive more than 45% of a state's proportion amount;
    • Each state will receive a minimum of $1.25 billion. Estimated state allocations here.
  • $8 billion to tribal governments.
  • $3 billion to US territories including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, the North Mariana Islands and American Samoa.
  • $35 million for Treasury oversight.

Funds can be used for costs that:

  • Were necessary expenditures incurred due to COVID-19;
  • Were not in the budget most recently approved as of the date of enactment;
  • Were incurred from March 1, 2020-Dec. 30, 2020.


  • $45.4 billion for a FEMA Disaster Relief Fund that includes $400 million in grants for firefighters ($100 million in AFG), emergency managers and emergency food programs.
  • $1.5 billion for CDC state and local preparedness grants.
  • $955 million for HHS aging and disabled program resources and grants.
  • $850 million for DOJ Byrne Grants and Byrne Justice Assistance Grants.
  • $425 million for HHS SAMHSA funding for behavioral health clinics and emergency grants.
  • $200 million for Federal Communications Commission telehealth program grants.

Please note that the DOJ Byrne Grants and Byrne Justice Assistance Grants opened this week and are accepting applications through May 29. More details on this specific grant can be found here.

More grants are available from the CARES act to local government via social services resources, housing assistance resources, education system stabilization resources, state and local election assistance grants via election assistance commission, economic and infrastructure rebuilding resources and support for local businesses.


NCSL Coronavirus Resources for States.

LaBrecque L. The CARES Act Has Passed: Here Are The Highlights. Forbes, March 29, 2020.

National League of Cities. The Deal is Done: How Much Can Cities Expect from the 3rd Coronavirus Package? March 27, 2020.

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