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Curtis Introduces "Leave Local Government Alone Act" to Safeguard COVID Relief Funds

Representative John Curtis (R-UT) introduced H.R. 8090, the Leave Local Government Alone Act. The legislation will ensure that once CARES Act funds are disturbed that they cannot be taken away from a local government, unless that local government improperly spends the funds.

“Many local governments have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and certainty is vital to maintain recovery,” said Curtis. “The CARES Act created the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund to assist state, local, and tribal governments with certain costs associated with the pandemic.  My bill would ensure our local elected leaders can use these dollars without fear of having to return these funds in the future.

Statements of Support

Mike Mendenhall, ULCT President and Spanish Fork Council Member; Cameron Diehl, ULCT Executive Director:

“As a former mayor and ULCT President, Congressman Curtis understands the importance of certainty, efficiency, and accountability when receiving federal funds. Cities and towns need the certainty of knowing how we can spend federal funds and the chain of command for spending the funds. We as cities want the process to be efficient—in this case, federal money to cities without other levels of government enacting additional requirements or trying to “recover” those federal dollars—so that we can invest the money into the services that our residents expect. Likewise, we as cities are committed to prudently spending the federal dollars according to the federal guidelines. We thank Congressman Curtis for his proposed amendment and for his ongoing partnership with cities and towns as we work together to overcome COVID-19 and bolster our economy.” (full letter here)

Resolution of Support from the City of Santaquin, Utah

“Be it resolved by the Santaquin City Council to issue this resolution of support of Congressman John Curtis’ proposed amendment to Title VI of the Social Security Act to provide a limitation fo the recoupment of corona virus relief fund amounts.”


The CARES Act created the Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide $150 billion to state, local, and tribal government for certain costs incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these funds, particularly for smaller cities, passed through a larger government entity before being distributed to the local level. The CARES Act doesn’t specifically make clear that these funds cannot be “clawed back” by the larger political entity, creating uncertainty for some local governments who have taken these funds.

Congressman Curtis’ legislation would ensure certainty for local governments, such as a city or a county, by preventing the “clawing back” of funds already distributed to a smaller unit of government. These dollars can still be taken if the funds are used in violation of federal law or regulation.