Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Serving all communities via the Whole of Government. January 2022

 

INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT AND JOBS ACT

 

INDEPENDENT AGENCIES

Federal Communications Commission approves of rules to implement the Affordable Connectivity Program

The FCC voted to formally adopt a Report and Order and Further Notice that gives guidance regarding the Affordable Connectivity Program. This program provides $14.2 in funding that provides qualifying households discounts on their internet bill and the opportunity to receive a device from participating providers. The news release with more information regarding the program can be found here.

 

National Foundation for the Arts and Humanities has no projects for infrastructure as defined by the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act

The “Build America, Buy America Act” requires federal entities to list all Federal financial assistance programs for infrastructure. The notice of the report can be found here.

 

 

COMMERCE

National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce requests comments on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

The comments are due Feb. 4, 2022, and can be made here.

 

 

TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration publishes recording of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act webinar

The program recording can be found here and the slides can be found here.

 

Department of Transportation gives notice that they are submitting an information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget

Upon receiving the requested six-month emergency approval, the Office of the Secretary will follow normal procedures to obtain extended approval for this information collection, which includes applicants submitting proposals for discretionary grant funding under the National Infrastructure Project Assistance Program. Comments should be made as soon as possible and information about the request can be found here.

 

Federal Highway Administration announces Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection and Construction Program made possible by Infrastructure Invesment and Jobs Act

More than $27 billion will go to state and tribal transportation facilities to fix more than 15,000 bridges. More information about this new program as well as program guidance and state-by-state funding can be found here.

 

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration establishes apprenticeship program for 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds to operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act required that this program be established. Read more about the program here.

 

 

AGRICULTURE

Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General releases oversight plan for Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides the Department of Agriculture with $8.3 billion in funding. The oversight plan with a breakdown of how the funding will be allocated can be found here.

 

 

ENERGY

Department of Energy unveils Building a Better Grid Initiative

This initiative focuses on developing new and upgraded high-capacity transmission lines. More about the goals of this initiative can be found here.

 

 

HOUSING

Department of Housing and Urban Development evaluates its federal assistance infrastructure programs to check if they are consistent with the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act requires each federal agency to file a report with Congress and the Office of Management and Budget within 60 days of enactment to identify and evaluate all financial assistance programs for infrastructure to determine if the program is inconsistent with the Act. HUD has conducted an initial review and determined that none of the programs it has reviewed to date fully meet the requirements of the act. The HUD notice can be found here.

 

 

INTERIOR

Department of the Interior releases Interim Final Rule regarding abandoned mine land reclamation fee

To be consistent with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Department of the Interior will be accepting comments through Feb. 14, and more information can be found here.

 

Bureau of Reclamation publishes spending plan for infrastructure act funds

The Bureau of Reclamation received $8.3 billion under Title IX. The funds will be spent on water storage, aging infrastructure and more. The plan, including a breakdown of how they plan to allocate the funds, can be found here.

 

The Interior releases report on programs subject to the Build America, Buy America Act Provisions of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

The report is an initial analysis of financial assistance infrastructure programs. The report and excel sheet can both be accessed here.

 

 

CORONAVIRUS

 

ENERGY

Biden administration announces state funding to address the costs of home energy

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program will help states, localities and tries address home energy costs this winter. This builds on utility companies’ commitments to preventing shut offs this winter. More information about the program can be found here.

 

 

EDUCATION

Department of Education publishes FAQs for ESSER and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds

The questions address how to use both funds to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19 and can be found here.

 

Department of Education updates maintenance of equity FAQs

The department updated answer to question 32 clarifying if any local education agencies are excepted from the maintenance of equity requirements. The updated FAQs can be found here.

 

Education Stabilization Fund Updates Transparency Portal

The portal now displays award and expenditure data by state for four major ESF programs: ESSER, GEER, EANS and the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund.

 

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education updates ARP Homeless Children and Youth Grants FAQs

There are two new questions both of which provide information on subgrants. The FAQs can be found here.

 

 

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Biden administration requires insurance companies and group help plans to cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests

The policy, effective Jan. 15, will cover a certain number of tests per month depending on the size of the family. FAQs can be found here and additional details here. In a press release, the Biden administration also announced other actions to expand testing such as providing 50 million free at-home tests to community health centers and Medicare-certified health clinics. That media release is available here, and more information about the health center initiative can be found here.

 

Health and Human Services Secretary renews COVID-19 public health emergency

The COVID-19 public health emergency has existed since Jan. 27, 2020. The renewal statement can be found here.

 

Administration for Children and Families publishes Low Income Household Water Assistance Program Data Webinar

The data report webinar slides, intake and eligibility slides and benefits slides can all be found here.

 

Administration for Children and Families releases Low Income Household Water Assistance Program Data Webinar quarterly report form and instructions

The first quarter 2022 report is due Jan. 31, and the form and instructions can be found here.

 

Administration for Children and Families publishes update on Head Start litigation after two district court decisions

The updates highlight states that do not have to comply with the Interim Final Rule on vaccine and mask requirements in Head Start programs, pending future developments in litigation. The update can be found here.

 

Children and Families announces additional training opportunities for Emergency Rental Assistance/Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

There will be additional office hour sessions on Jan. 28 from 1-2 p.m. (ET) and on Feb. 1 from 1-2 p.m. (ET). There will also be another webinar on Jan. 31 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. (ET). Registration information can be found here.

 

Administration for Children and Families updates Low Income Household Water Assistance Program FAQs

The six new FAQs can be found here.

 

Administration for Community Living starts awarding $150 million to broaden the ageing and disability networks’ public health workforce

Half of this funding is being awarded over the next two weeks and the rest over the coming months. You can find the 11 grantee networks as well as more general information here. FAQs can be found here. Four networks must still submit letters of assurance, as explained in the Federal Register notices linked below:

·    State Councils on Developmental Disabilities

·    Protection and Advocacy Systems

·    Centers for Independent Living

·    Independent Living Designated State Entities

 

 

HOUSING

HUD Office of Inspector General examines slow-spending grantees

The HUD Office of the Inspector General audited Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery slow-spending grantees to assess oversight of grant expenditures, determine the status of grants and the impacts of COVID-19 on grantee spending. The audit can be found here.

 

 

HOMELAND SECURITY

Federal Emergency Management Agency cancels over $870 million in outstanding community disaster loan balances

The cancellation is due to congressional legislation in the continuing budget resolution. It will significantly impact states along the Gulf Coast. More information can be found here.

 

 

INDEPENDENT AGENCIES

FCC commits an additional $361 million in Emergency Connectivity Fund support to schools and libraries

This addition brings the total program commitments to nearly $4.2 billion. The news release can be found here.

 

Small Business Association Office of the Inspector General publishes Oversight of the Grant Recipient’s Implementation of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act

The Small Business Administration was the recipient of $25 million to provide a centralized hub for COVID-19 information. Their evaluation can be found here.

 

 

NUTRITION

Food and Nutrition Services releases annual adjustment to Summer Food Service Program reimbursement rates

This Summer Food Service Program 2022 rate adjustment will increase federal reimbursements to school food programs by 25 cents per lunch. More information about the reimbursement rates can be found here, and a table estimating total pandemic-related support to school food programs can be found here.

 

FNS posts resources and FAQs for The Emergency Food Assistance Program Reach and Resiliency Grants

These grants are available for state agencies in the Emergency Food Assistance Program. The FAQs and other resources can be found here, and the request for applications for the grant is available here. Applications are due Feb. 4.

 

 

TREASURY

The Department of the Treasury publishes list for recipients of State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to identify their reporting tiers

The spreadsheet can be found here, and the project and expenditure report user guide can be found here.

 

The Treasury updates status of payments to states for Non-Entitlement Units of Government

 

The Department of the Treasury takes several actions on Emergency Rental Assistance program

The Department of the Treasury reallocated more than $1 billion in ERA1 funding, most of it within the same state. Materials include:

·    The November report.

·    Amounts for ERA1 round 1 reallocations and voluntary reallocations.

·    A form to request funds from the second round of reallocated funds.

·    A form that includes the voluntary reallocation of funds from an ERA1 grantee.

·    Updated guidelines for program websites.

 

The Treasury publishes practice that may help those in the Emergency Rental Assistance program

Households may not have rental arrears but need assistance in a security deposit or future rent. The use of commitment letters would allow those applicants to provide documentation to their landlord that says they are preliminarily qualified for rental assistance. More information about this practice can be found here.

 

The Treasury department publishes periodic report on Municipal Liquidity Facility

This report is accompanied by a transaction specific spreadsheet. Both can be found here.

 

The Department of the Treasury publishes State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Final Rule materials

·    Webinar and slides explaining the final rule.

·    Multiple webinars about reporting requirements.




 

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