Abbott announces federal funding for local jurisdictions


POOL, Miguel Gutierrez, Texas Tribune

Gov. Abbott announces COVID-19 updates for the state.

Gabriella Ybarra, Managing Editor

In a letter addressed to city and county leaders, Gov. Greg Abbott announced $5.06 billion in COVID-19 relief funds for local governments across Texas.

The funding, which is part of the CARES Act, will be used to reimburse cities that have incurred direct expenses as a result of COVID-19.

The U.S Department of Treasury sent over $3.2 billion to six cities and 12 counties in Texas with a population greater than 500,000. The remaining $1.85 billion will be made available for other cities and counties throughout the state.

Cities that did not receive direct allocations from the Treasury are eligible to apply to the state for a $55 per capita allocation from the $1.85 billion. If an agreement is made, local governments will be able to immediately draw 20% to their allocation. Once the jurisdictions provide proper documentation on the initial funding, they will be able to access the remainder of the allocations on a reimbursement basis.

Any unallocated funds will be on standby for long-term impacts of the virus and in the event of a future outbreak.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management will be responsible for administering the reimbursement process and has partnered with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension to assist cities and counties throughout the process.

In a press release, Abbott also announced he has ordered the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Department of State Health Services to test 100% of residents and staff within Texas nursing homes.

HHSC, TDEM and DSHS will develop and implement a plan based on guidance from Vice President Mike Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx.

Information on how to apply for funding in addition to eligible uses can be found on the Texas Division of Emergency Management’s website.

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