Response and Recovery Resources for Washington
We’re all in this together. As the Pacific Northwest handles dynamic changes to the way it does business, Maul Foster & Alongi is looking to find and share opportunities that can help our clients, communities, and region persevere and emerge stronger.
Funding Opportunities and Updates | May 14, 2020
Discussions around the possibility of a special legislative session continue. The session likely would focus on handling COVID-19-related budget impacts for state and local governments. Statewide organizations and associations are preparing to advocate for a wide variety of community assistance and economic recovery programs, including investment in public infrastructure projects. This proven economic stimulus method has a positive economic multiplier that creates family-wage jobs and supports increased economic activity.
Gov. Inslee announced April 27 that nearly $300 million of the state’s federal stimulus funding will be awarded to local governments that did not receive direct distributions under the CARES Act. Funds will be provided to cities and counties that were ineligible to receive direct funding under the CARES Act because their populations number below 500,000.
The governor’s news release indicated that the state would distribute a minimum of $250,000 to each county and a minimum of $25,000 to each city. Specific allocations can be found here.
Funds can be used to cover critical, COVID-19-related expenses, such as isolation and quarantine sites, staffing, and purchase of medical supplies and equipment for health care providers and first responders.
Gov. Inslee has established three Safe Start community advisory groups that will work in tandem with ongoing efforts to ensure that Washington State can reopen safely for everyone. One of these advisory groups, led by Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown, will be focused on “Safe Work and Economic Recovery.”
The Department of Commerce is distributing CARES Act funding via Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs. These funds are currently targeted for back rental and utility payments and emergency homeless shelters. CARES Act funding through CDBG programs is not currently being directed toward more typical, ongoing public health efforts.
The Association of Washington Cities, the Washington State Association of Counties, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, and other local government associations are advocating for direct federal support to local governments with populations below 500,000 as part of the next phase of the federal stimulus package.