President Trump last week signed an $8.3 billion aid package to combat the surging novel coronavirus outbreak. The bill, which includes supplemental appropriations to enhance federal, state, and local response efforts, was approved by Congress on March 5.
According to the National Association of Counties (NACo):
As passed, the legislation specifically includes:
- $2.2 billion in public health funding to support prevention, preparedness and response efforts, including a $1 billion set-aside for State and Local Preparedness Grants to support states, cities and tribes, half of which will be distributed within 30 days. Each state will receive no less than $4 million.
- Approximately $3 billion in funding for research and development of coronavirus vaccines and diagnostic tools;
- $100 million in supplemental appropriations for Community Health Centers (CHC) – a key priority for counties as health safety-net providers;
- A provision that waives certain telehealth requirements during the coronavirus public health emergency to allow Medicare providers to administer telehealth services to elderly patients, who are at greater risk of contracting the illness; and
- $20 million for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to assist businesses affected by the outbreak.
As previously reported on Conduit Street, Governor Larry Hogan yesterday signed emergency legislation granting him the authority to transfer up to $50 million from the State’s rainy day fund to pay for costs associated with Maryland’s response to the novel coronavirus.
Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.