Bolster Your Government’s Public Sector Capacity through Grants

State Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) provides federal grants to state and local governments to aid in recovery responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are three main eligible categories of use to increase public sector capacity under this program: Public Safety, Public Health, and Human Services Staff; Government Employment and Rehiring Public Sector Staff; and Effective Service Delivery. 

Public Safety, Public Health, and Human Services Staff 

SLFRF funding may be used for payroll and benefits for employees in the above categories of a government, covering the time the employee(s) spent responding to COVID-19. Under this category, applicant governments should follow these steps: 

  1. Identify eligible public safety, public health, and human services staff 
    1. Examples of public safety staff according to the Final Rule of SLFRF: emergency medical responders, firefighters, public safety dispatchers, correctional officers, police officers and sheriffs
    2. Examples of public health staff according to the Final Rule: employees involved in providing health care (physical and/or mental) in schools, prisons, and other such institutions; laboratory technicians, medical examiners, morgue staff, and the like; employees of public health departments directly engaged in public health matters 
    3. Examples of human services staff according to the Final Rule: child welfare services employees; child, elder, or family care employees; employees providing or administering social services and/or public benefits.
  2. Assess the portion of one’s time spent on COVID-19 response for the eligible staff 
    1. This can be done by estimating losses/time spent through discussions with some staff and applying the found rate to all employees in that position. For public health and safety employees, the Final Rule declares that they can be considered fully dedicated to COVID-19 if their unit was “primarily dedicated” to responding to COVID-19 
  3. Use SLFRF funding for payroll and covered benefits 
    1. This may only be done according to the period of performance of SLFRF. 

Government Employment and Rehiring Public Sector Staff 

State and local governments can use SLFRF funding to restore and support public sector staff to their pre-pandemic baseline. There are three general uses of funds under this category: 

  1. Restoring pre-pandemic employment 
    1. Hire back employees for pre-pandemic positions 
    2. Hire above the pre-pandemic baseline and/or have flexibility in positions 
  1. Supporting and retaining public sector workers 
    1. Providing additional funding for employees who experienced pay reductions or were furloughed 
    2. Maintaining current compensation levels to prevent layoffs 
    3. Providing worker retention incentives, including reasonable increases in compensation 
  2. Covering administrative costs associated with hiring, support, and retention programs above 

Effective Service Delivery 

SLFRF funding is available to state and local governments to improve the efficacy of public health and economic programs. This can be done through data collection, outreach, and program evaluation, or through addressing administrative needs resulting from or worsened by the pandemic.  

  1. Supporting program evaluation, data, and outreach, enumerated eligible uses: 
    1. Program evaluation and evidence resources 
    2. Data analysis resources to gather, assess, share, and use data 
    3. Community outreach and engagement activities 
    4. Technology infrastructure to improve access to and user experience of government IT systems 
    5. And more 
  2. Addressing administrative needs, enumerated eligible uses: 
    1. Administrative costs for programs responding to the pandemic and its economic impacts 
    2. Administrative needs resulting from or exacerbated by the public health crisis 
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