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How Much Each State Will Receive From the Coronavirus Relief Fund in the CARES Act

March 26, 2020

The new bipartisan economic stimulus legislation — known as the CARES Act — contains significant new resources to help states address their massive, immediate budget problems due to COVID-19, though states will almost certainly need more aid in coming months.

The centerpiece of the state aid is the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund, which state, tribal, and local governments can use this year to meet costs connected to the virus. Each state will receive at least $1.25 billion — though the District of Columbia will only receive about $500 million — while the most populous states (California and Texas) will receive over $10 billion each, we estimate. (See Table 1.) In most states, a portion of the funding will go to local governments serving populations over 500,000. Tribal governments will receive $8 billion.

The CARES Act also includes $30 billion for elementary and secondary schools and colleges and universities, $25 billion for mass transit systems, $5 billion for community development block grants (30 percent of which will go to state governments), $3.5 billion for child care, and $400 million to prepare for elections, among other funding directed to states.

States and tribes are incurring huge new costs as they seek to contain and treat the coronavirus and respond to the virus-induced spike in joblessness and related human needs. At the same time, they’re projecting sharply lower tax revenues due to the widespread collapse of economic activity brought about by the virus’ spread and needed containment activities. If they respond to this dire fiscal crisis by laying off state and tribal employees, scaling back government contracts for businesses, and cutting public services and other forms of spending, those actions will make the recession worse. (Tribes are uniquely vulnerable to the downturn since tribal businesses deeply affected by the virus and downturn, such as casinos, often generate vital government revenue for tribes to run programs such as public health and child care.) Given the economy’s extremely rapid decline and the extraordinary damage being done to state, tribal, and local budgets, federal policymakers very likely will need to come back and provide more help to states and families affected by the crisis.

TABLE 1
Distribution of Coronavirus Relief Fund, by State
State Total distribution (millions)
Alabama $1,901
Alaska $1,250
Arizona $2,822
Arkansas $1,250
California $15,321
Colorado $2,233
Connecticut $1,382
Delaware $1,250
District of Columbia $495
Florida $8,328
Georgia $4,117
Hawaii $1,250
Idaho $1,250
Illinois $4,914
Indiana $2,610
Iowa $1,250
Kansas $1,250
Kentucky $1,732
Louisiana $1,803
Maine $1,250
Maryland $2,344
Massachusetts $2,673
Michigan $3,873
Minnesota $2,187
Mississippi $1,250
Missouri $2,380
Montana $1,250
Nebraska $1,250
Nevada $1,250
New Hampshire $1,250
New Jersey $3,444
New Mexico $1,250
New York $7,543
North Carolina $4,067
North Dakota $1,250
Ohio $4,533
Oklahoma $1,534
Oregon $1,635
Pennsylvania $4,964
Puerto Rico $2,241
Rhode Island $1,250
South Carolina $1,996
South Dakota $1,250
Tennessee $2,648
Texas $11,243
Utah $1,250
Vermont $1,250
Virginia $3,310
Washington $2,953
West Virginia $1,250
Wisconsin $2,258
Wyoming $1,250
Territories* $263
Tribal governments $8,000
U.S. TOTAL $150,000

*Guam, Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa

Source: CBPP estimates using population data from the U.S. Census Bureau.