After delays, President Donald Trump on Dec. 27, signed a law that includes coronavirus relief and stimulus, a government spending plan for fiscal 2021, and a mix of proposed changes to tax and other federal laws.

Included in the $900 billion coronavirus response and relief part of the omnibus bill (H.R. 133) is a one-year extension of the deadline for use of Coronavirus Relief Fund allocations provided through the CARES Act.

Section 1001 extends the date by which state and local governments must make expenditures with CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund awards from Dec. 30, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2021.

The bill did not provide any new direct aid to state and local governments, which has been a top priority for municipal officials and organizations across the country, and did not change the rules governing allowable use of funds.

On Dec. 29, the Federal Funds Office in the administration’s Executive Office for Administration and Finance sent notice to cities and towns about the new stimulus law, including the extension of the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund “covered period.”

The coronavirus relief parts of the law include $286 billion for enhanced unemployment insurance and direct payments to individuals and families and $325 billion for small business relief. The law also has $69 billion for vaccine procurement and distribution, contact tracing and related health care services.

The law includes $82 billion for education, with $54 billion set aside for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.

According to reports, an estimated $1.3 billion has been allocated to Massachusetts to aid K-12 schools and higher education, including $815 million for a K-12 school emergency relief fund, $472 million for higher education, and $47 million for a Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund. Updates will be provided as new information becomes available.

View Congressional summary of new federal coronavirus relief law (PDF)

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