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Mar 31

March 31, 2021 TML Coronavirus Update #180

Posted on March 31, 2021 at 11:47 AM by TML Staff

Urgent Updates


What additional information do you have about the federal stimulus bill (the American Rescue Plan Act)?


The National League of Cities (NLC) has begun holding regular calls for city officials and is archiving them on the web with the latest information about the federal stimulus bill. The page also includes an updated, 12-slide presentation with what we know thus far.


The bottom line is that everyone still has more questions than answers. NLC sent a detailed letter to treasury with topline questions that would affect all cities, and an appendix with additional, more-specific questions from NLC member cities.


NLC’s main priority is asking the United States Treasury Department to make it very clear in their guidance that states can’t put additional limits on the funds. (City officials may recall that the Texas Division of Emergency Management placed additional restrictions on CARES Act funding for certain cities.)


NLC addressed the following questions on last week’s call:


What do cities need to prepare and send to receive funds? Your city is entitled to these funds, and NLC will have more about how they will be disbursed as information becomes available.


When will cities need to report use of funds? What details will they need to include? Treasury doesn’t have the capacity to oversee 19,000 cities, so it will likely rely on inspector generals to select cities for some type of audit to be sure that spending is within eligible categories (we still aren’t sure about what those encompass, either).


When can we expect more guidance? NLC expects guidance to come before funding is made available, probably within the next 60 days.

Further Updates


Correction: Last week’s Update included the following question, which left out crucial language. The Texas Workforce Commission has indeed seen an increase in fraudulent unemployment claims, but they aren’t being made BY city officials and employees. Rather, they are being made by persons fraudulently ALLEGING TO BE city officials or employees. We apologize for the error.


Cities are seeing rising numbers of fraudulent unemployment benefits claims made by persons posing as current employees, recently-retired employees, and even elected officials. Where do we report a suspected fraudulent claim?


The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has become aware of the fraudulent activity through reports of individuals or businesses receiving correspondence from TWC when no claim has been filed and the individuals are employed.


The agency encourages anyone who suspects potential fraudulent activity involving unemployment benefits to report it through the TWC fraud submission portal. You can also email or leave a message at the TWC Fraud Hotline at 800-252-3642.


Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?

TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.