DOF Issues First CARES Act CRF Quarterly Report

This week, the Department of Finance (DOF) issued its first quarterly report of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) provided by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Recall, the CARES Act was signed into law in March and provided state and local governments with federal funds for expenditures incurred between March 1 and December 30, 2020, in response to COVID-19. California received a total of $15.3 billion from the CARES Act with $9.5 billion allocated directly to the state, $5.8 billion allocated to 15 large counties, and five cities with populations over 500,000.

The CARES Act requires states to submit quarterly expenditure reports in 17 categories associated with COVID-19 response and mitigation. The first report issued by DOF covers expenditures and obligations incurred from March 1 through June 30. DOF collected data from counties, cities, local education agencies, community college districts, and state agencies regarding expenditures and obligations to date.

DOF additionally provides data detailing CRF expenditures by recipient and category. Notably, the largest expenditure categories of the $2.5 billion in Q1 expenditures were facilitating distance learning ($468 million), payroll for public health and public safety ($365 million), personal protective equipment ($326 million), public health expenses ($261 million), and budgeted personnel – substantially different use ($259 million). Additionally, during the reporting period, counties reported approximately 38 percent of their funding ($487 million) was spent or obligated; six counties reported funds as fully spent or obligated.

DOF indicates expenditures are expected to increase significantly in the next quarterly report as recipients have more time to identify eligible expenditures and awards will be made for various programs, including Homekey to provide grants to support housing for individuals experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness due to COVID-19.

The full DOF first quarter report is available here.