On Tuesday, the Department of Treasury (Treasury) issued a press release announcing the initial release funds to tribal governments from the $8 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). Due to the current lawsuit in the U.S. District Court over eligibility of these funds, only $4.8 billion will be immediately disbursed to tribal governments. The full press release can be accessed here .
The path forward agreed to by the Secretaries will:
- Distribute 60 percent of the $8 billion to Tribes based on population data used in the distribution of the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG), subject to a floor of $100,000. This data is based on U.S. Census figures and is already familiar to Tribal governments.
- Distribute the remaining 40 percent of the $8 billion based on the total number of persons employed by the Indian tribe and any tribally-owned entity, and further data to be collected related to the amount of higher expenses faced by the tribe in the fight against COVID-19.
- Payment to Tribes will begin today based on the population allocation, and will take place over several banking days. Amounts calculated for Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act regional and village corporations will be held back until pending litigation relating to their eligibility is resolved.
- Payments to tribes based on employment and expenditure data will be made at a later date. Treasury will work with Tribes to confirm employment numbers and seek additional information regarding higher expenses due to the public health emergency.
Along with this statement, Treasury released an updated list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the recently issued CRF Guidance for local, state, and tribal governments, including clarification on how tribal governments can use these funds to assist small businesses interrupted by COVID-19 responses.
We highly advise all Member Tribes to review this document to prepare a process to keep accurate records of the usage of these funds. The National Indian Gaming Association will continue to monitor the progress of the 40% of the CRF funds being held.
Please contact Danielle Her Many Horses at email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns with this alert.