Opportunities For Tribal Governments and Tribally-Owned Entities in the Coronavirus Relief Fund

March 30, 2020 | Client Alerts

On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the "CARES Act," into law. The CARES Act is a $2 trillion stimulus package designed to provide emergency assistance to individuals, privately-owned businesses, and Tribal, state, and local governments impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CARES Act establishes a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund ("CRF") that is available to Tribal, state, and local governments to offset increased costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, with $8 billion set aside for Tribal governments and Tribally-owned entities.

CRF funds may cover costs that (1) are necessary expenditures incurred due to COVID-19; (2) were not accounted for in a tribe's most recently approved budget; and (3) were incurred between March 1, 2020, and December 30, 2020. The amount available to individual Tribal governments shall be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and Indian Tribes. Further details regarding process are expected to be available early this week. Tribes seeking CRF funding should develop an action plan to take advantage of opportunities to advocate for a portion of the $8 billion.

Under the CARES Act, Tribes and Tribally-owned businesses may access resources to cover the costs of employee payroll, paid sick/medical leave, and unemployment insurance. The Act also provides an additional $2 billion to federal agencies to further fund ongoing federal programs, including the following: Indian Health Services ($1.032 billion); Bureau of Indian Affairs ($453 million); Bureau of Indian Education ($69 million); and, Food Distribution Program for Indian Reservations ($100 million). Lippes Mathias' Indian Law Practice Team provides legal and strategic advice to American Indian tribal governments, tribal courts, and other entities committed to advancing tribal sovereignty, self-determination and economic development in Indian country. We stand ready to advise tribal governments regarding the CARES Act and the benefits available to them under the Act.

Please contact the Lippes Mathias attorney with whom you work or either of the following Practice Group Leaders: Carol E. Heckman (checkman@lippes.com) or Michael G. Rossetti (mrossetti@lippes.com). 
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