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Treasury Releases Update on CARES Programs/Hazard Premium Payroll Deadline

Posted on September 18, 2020 by Dene Westbrook

View the full list of FRHPPP award status by community by clicking on this image.

Late yesterday the Michigan Department of Treasury released the following update on the three CARES Act federally funded programs aimed at supporting local units of government.

Federal funds that were swapped in place of the eliminated August revenue sharing payment (CRLGG) have a September 23rd deadline for receiving local units to certify their acceptance of the funds.

For those units that applied for first responder hazard pay premiums and were awaiting award notifications or advance payment of the grant funds before distributed the award to their eligible personnel, Treasury has stated they will have those award notices posted by the end of the day today (Friday), with advance payments supposedly on track for issuance next week.

The League continues to express concern to the Department and Administration and Legislative Appropriation officials that the delay in award notifications could have implications given the language in the program boilerplate requiring all hazard pay premiums must be issued to eligible employees by September 30th.  The ability to input and process the necessary payroll before the end of this month may be difficult or impossible for some communities based upon the data Treasury plans to post.  An League staff have requested an extension of that payroll distribution timeline to ensure that every community has a chance to take advantage of this program.  With legislative action on the upcoming state budget expected to occur next week, the opportunity to amend the 9/30 deadline in those state budget bills is a possibility.  Please contact the League and your legislators if you feel that an extension of the 9/30 payroll disbursement deadline would be beneficial to your community.

The following email provides the updated information that Treasury released yesterday:

The Michigan Department of Treasury is administering three local government grant programs associated with funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

These programs include:

To date, the state Treasury Department has received and are reviewing more than 1,300 applications for both the FRHPPP and the PSPHPR Program. Because of time constraints and evolving guidance at the federal level, implementing these programs has taken longer than expected.

This update provides the latest information about the three CARES Act-funded grant programs. As new information becomes available, additional updates will be provided by the state Treasury Department.

First Responder Hazard Pay Premiums Program (FRHPPP)

Under the FRHPPP, the state Treasury Department has received more than 700 applications, totaling approximately $36 million in funding requests.

Announcements of awards are anticipated to be made online by Friday, September 18. A list of awardees will be posted on the FRHPPP webpage. Payment processing will begin on Friday, September 18.

Some grant requests may be reduced to reflect ineligible amounts. Detailed emails will be sent to applicants who received reductions.

Local units may still apply, but applications must be received by September 30, 2020 for payments that were made to employees by September 30, 2020, as state law allows.

Public Safety and Public Health Payroll Reimbursement (PSPHPR) Program

Under the PSPHPR Program, the state Treasury Department has received more than 600 applications, totaling approximately $350 million in funding requests. The Michigan Legislature has appropriated $200 million for this program, so a second round of funding for June and July payrolls is not expected.

The review process is not complete and provisional payments to applicants were issued this week. Payments are equal to 50% of the amount requested, up to a cap of $5 million. The description of the payment will include “Public Safety Public Health Payroll Reimbursement, 2020 PA 144, Sec 803.”

Once the state Treasury Department has reviewed the entire application for compliance, prorated payments will be made. As the state Treasury Department reviews the applications, there may be requests for more documentation.

Because the amount of grant requests exceeds the amount appropriated by the legislature, these payments will be prorated.

Coronavirus Relief Local Government Grants (CRLGG) Program

CRLGG Program payments were issued on August 31, 2020. A list of those payments is available by local unit. Recipients need to complete the CRLGG Grant Opening Certification, which must be signed and submitted to the Michigan Department of Treasury by 11:59 p.m. EST on September 23, 2020.

Payments under this program were issued to all eligible local units that would normally receive City, Village, and Township Revenue Sharing (CVTRS), County Incentive Program (CIP), or County Revenue Sharing (CRS). No additional units are eligible.

August statutory revenue sharing payments were eliminated under the fiscal year 2020 state budget reductions.

All the amounts received for the CRLGG Program need to comply with the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) requirements.

To help determine eligible expenses, local governments should review the U.S. Department of Treasury’s CRF Guidance for examples of some eligible uses, specifically on pages three and four. This is a nonexclusive list and the guidance allows that additional items may qualify under the CARES Act. Another resource to review is the U.S. Treasury Coronavirus Relief Fund FAQ.

The state of Michigan cannot fully advise on compliance with the federal requirements. Each unit of government needs to decide on these thresholds and is responsible for meeting audit requirements, especially should federal guidance change.

Any amounts not used for CRF eligible expenses will need to be returned to the state, as prescribed by the grant agreement. Individuals will use the Return of Funds Received Form 5733, which will be coming soon.

Local units should ensure they have registered in the Federal System for Award Management (SAM).

The CRLGG Program will require additional reporting requirements as described on page 8 of the CRLGG & CRF Grant Requirements document. The state Treasury Department will provide additional information on these requirements and how this reporting will be performed in a future update.

Additional CARES Act Grant Information

Local units should review the Michigan Department of Treasury’s Numbered Letter 2020-4 that provides information on the receipting of revenues related to the FRHPPP, PSPHPR Program, and the CRLGG Program. This guidance advises entities on how to record and accrue funds granted under Public Act 144 of 2020.

Additionally, the Michigan Department of Treasury has developed a webpage with numbered letters, memorandums, webinars, and resources regarding COVID-19 updates for local governments and school districts. This webpage was created to ensure Michigan communities have access to the most up-to-date guidance and is updated frequently with information and resources as they become available.

Questions about CARES Act-funded grant programs should be directed to the Revenue Sharing and Grants Division at 517-335-0155 or Treas-CARES@michigan.gov.

Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 and chackbarth@mml.org.

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