On March 27, 2020 Congress passed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (the “CARES Act,” H.R. 748) to provide direct economic assistance in response to the financial fallout related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation provides $2.2 trillion of economic relief and stimulus for businesses, individuals, federal agencies, and state and local governments, including a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund for state and local governments to help offset necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. As provided in the CARES Act, 12 Florida counties with a population greater than 500,000 received direct allocations from the U.S. Treasury totaling $2.47 billion. Counties less than 500,000 in population, including Nassau County, were not eligible to receive a direct payment under the CARES Act. However, the bill allowed states to distribute funds to local governments under 500,000 in population, and on June 10, the Governor announced that the State of Florida will disburse the remaining funds allocated to Florida (totaling up to $1.275 billion) to counties with a population below 500,000 through the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) for expenditures eligible for reimbursement.
The CARES Act requires that the payments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund only be used to cover expenses that:
are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19),
were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government; and
were incurred during the period that began on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.
As part of the $150 billion distributed to State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments, the State of Florida received $8.328 billion and is allocated as follows:
State of Florida
12 Largest Florida Counties (populations more than 500,000 residents)
55 Florida Counties (populations less than 500,000 residents)
Nassau County is included as part of the $1.275 billion allocated to Florida’s 55 counties with populations less than 500,000 residents.
The Nassau County CARES Financial Assistance Plan (Plan)
Based on the guidance, priorities, and directives from the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners, the County has outlined the services for the Nassau CARES Program (Nassau CARES). The Nassau CARES framework and services are designed with flexibility that allows the County to respond to the needs of Nassau County residents while complying with the CARES Act requirements.
Nassau CARES provides for the efficient, targeted distribution of $15.5 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds allocated under the Federal CARES Act (H.R. 748). Nassau CARES provides funding for essential public health and safety expenditures related to COVID-19 including a variety of human service needs, critical economic relief to the local business community, and direct COVID-related costs incurred by the County, Constitutional and Judicial Offices, and the municipalities within Nassau County.