Governor Larry Hogan today submitted a supplemental budget for fiscal 2021 that requests $10 million for emergency coronavirus preparedness expenses and funding for several state and local initiatives.
The supplemental budget includes $10 million for emergency coronavirus preparedness expenses. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Governor Hogan yesterday submitted emergency legislation to authorize the transfer up to $50 million from the Revenue Stabilization Account (rainy day fund) to fund costs associated with the novel coronavirus.
“Our highest priority is keeping our residents safe,” Governor Hogan said. “The public should be assured that our state’s preparedness builds on decades of planning, experience, and expertise gained from previous and ongoing public health events.”
The supplemental budget also includes $14.5 million for the Behavioral Health Administration for medical provider reimbursements and contractual services, $11.1 million for foster care maintenance payments, $6 million for the Maryland Center for School Safety, $2.7 million for the Temporary Disability Assistance Program, and $1.1 million in federal funds to enhance election security.
According to a press release:
Based on its ongoing contingency planning, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) will allocate the emergency funding for the following priorities:
- Purchasing new equipment and reagents to provide rapid diagnosis in state public health laboratories and enhance specimen transport and packaging.
- Acquiring additional staffing support to conduct disease investigations, including clinic visits or mobile home testing teams for uninsured/underinsured persons meeting case definition who need testing to confirm infection.
- Acquiring additional staffing support and resources to maintain operational response, such as coordination, training, communications, and personal protective equipment.
- Obtaining and maintaining quarantine/isolation housing capacity, including cleaning services.
- Enhancing data analytics and surveillance systems for rapid case detection and response.
- Coordinating and facilitating transportation for uninsured/underinsured persons with symptoms for medical evaluation.
- Enhancing healthcare systems support for care to include purchases of additional equipment, lab services, and specimen transport.
- Media support, printing, outreach, translation services, and communications equipment including tablets and hot spots.
- Providing wrap-around services for quarantined individuals including food, medications, etc.
- Providing behavioral health services to affected communities.
Additional funding for local priorities includes $1.25 million for the African American Neuroscience Research Initiative at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development; $500,000 for the End Hunger in Calvert County program; $500,000 for the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals to provide behavioral health services to service members, veterans, and their families; $500,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs; $200,000 for education and training for firefighters; and $100,000 to conduct an air traffic noise study on communities near the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.