The coronavirus relief legislation signed into law Thursday by President Joe Biden will bring billions of dollars to Virginia, Maryland and D.C. — funding that’s touted by the region’s congressional lawmakers who voted for the massive spending package.
A breakdown of the money Maryland will receive was released Friday by U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin.
The state will receive $3.9 billion in direct funding. Nearly $1.2 billion will go to county governments, including more than $200 million to Montgomery County.
Van Hollen said the president’s plan “is the bold relief our state needs at this moment” in a statement released with Cardin.
No congressional Republicans voted for the $1.9 trillion legislation. GOP lawmakers are critical of the package, arguing that it’s packed with Democrats’ political priorities.
But Democrats counter that the legislation provides badly-needed assistance for states and local governments, as well as money that will go directly to taxpayers through another round of stimulus checks.
More than 2.5 million households in Maryland are expected to receive the $1,400 checks, which will go to those earning $75,000 or less.
In Virginia, more than 7 million people will benefit from the checks, according to U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine.
Among other figures lawmakers released:
- Enhanced unemployment benefits: More than 300,000 Maryland residents currently rely on unemployment benefits. The legislation extends enhanced weekly federal jobless benefits of $300 through Sept. 6. Those benefits had been scheduled to expire March 14.
- Education and child care: Maryland will receive $1.95 billion for K-12 education and $1.75 billion for Maryland’s school districts.
- Metro and public transit: Metro (WMATA) is slated to receive $1.4 billion. Like many transit systems, Metro has experienced a major drop in ridership and revenues.
Virginia’s K-12 schools will receive more than $2 billion. The state is also getting nearly $800 million in child care support to help keep child care centers open.
Cardin, who has worked extensively on small business issues, said he’s also optimistic that a new grant program that will be operated through the Small Business Administration will provide help to struggling bars and restaurants.
“It’s critically important to keep our restaurants afloat,” he said, noting he spoke recently with a restaurant owner who said the money infusion will allow that business to keep its doors open.
As for D.C., the city is getting $2 billion through the coronavirus relief legislation. That includes $775 million it was supposed to receive under the CARES Act that was approved last year.
The District originally didn’t get the funding because it was designated as a territory rather than a state, as it often is related to budget matters.
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