U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, both Democrats, announced on Friday the awarding of $21,347,074.20 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) grants to the New Jersey State Police to aid first responders combatting the COVID-19 outbreak.
This award is in addition to the $26 million in PA grants that the senators announced last week.
The funding granted thus far by FEMA represents only 75 percent of the $63,310,313.97 total costs incurred by the New Jersey State Police to respond to COVID-19. FEMA’s guidelines require grant awardees to pay the remaining 25 percent.
Menendez, with support from Booker, has led bipartisan requests from both the New Jersey congressional delegation and 23 of his Senate colleagues calling on President Donald Trump to eliminate the local cost-sharing for FEMA disaster grants, which would allow the state to recoup the full amount, an extra $15,827,578.49.
The $2 trillion federal emergency stimulus package included $45 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund to help states, like New Jersey, which is included in the president’s Major Disaster Declaration, provide for immediate needs and essential services to protect citizens and recover from the outbreak.
“The brave men and women of the New Jersey State Police are on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak and I am deeply grateful for their dedication to the health and safety of our state,” said Menendez. “This major funding will ensure our first responders have adequate resources to continue protecting the nine million residents across our state. I will keep fighting for the funding and resources our state needs to fight this virus and recover from the challenges we face.”
“It’s imperative that New Jersey has the resources needed to combat this public health crisis,” Booker. “That’s why I stand committed to fighting for federal funding like this that our state needs to protect the health and safety of all New Jerseyans.”
Menendez also led the delegation’s support for Gov. Phil Murphy’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration, making the state eligible for these additional federal resources to combat the COVID-19.