Gov. Ige on CARES Act Funding: $175 Million to be Split Between Kaua‘i, Maui and Hawai‘i Counties
Governor David Ige said Maui will split $175 million in federal funds with Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi counties as part of the CARES Act appropriation for the state.
“Today is the first day that our legislature is reopening, and I’ve been working with the legislature, the counties and my executives departments to consider the best use of the coronavirus relief funds that were provided through he CARES Act. The proposed House Draft 1, Senate Bill 75 represents the outcome of this effort.
“The legislature does not need to make an appropriation for these federal funds, however, I felt that it was important to engage the legislative process to facilitate additional discussion and transparency,” said Gov Ige during an afternoon press conference on Monday. “This will ensure that all parties are accountable for the proper use of the funds in alignment with my priorities.”
The Coronavirus Relief Fund gave Hawaiʻi $1.25 billion, according to Gov. Ige. He said $862 million was allocated to the state of Hawaiʻi and provided a breakdown of how some of the funds will be used.
- $387 million goes to the City and County of Honolulu.
- $175 divided between Maui, Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi counties. This can be used for first responders, contact tracing, testing, emergency medical services and other direct response activities.
- State priorities include $100 million to be set aside for the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency. This is for COVID-19 response activity and prevention in the event of a surge.
- $20 million allocated to the Department of Transportation. The bill includes language for the use of these funds for thermal screening. Gov. Ige is also requesting that the language be expanded to address all travel related security enhancements including thermal screening, safetravels.hawaii.gov and testing enhancements.
- $10 million to the Office of the Governor for the Economic Recovery Resiliency Navigator Program– $500,000 is set aside for the Department of Health for pandemic planning and $1.3 million is for the DLIR Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA.
- $2 million to the Department of Human Services for the SNAP program.
- Gov. Ige is asking that the remaining $553 million balance should be kept available to supplement the state unemployment payments instead of being moved to the Emergency Reserve Fund.
“While we are anticipating the Department of Labor will pay for the administrative expenses for PUA, the supplemental request is still pending. This appropriation will provide funds to execute contracts needed in a timely manner,” said Gov. Ige.
All parties appropriated funds will be required to submit a proposed plan of action, including a budget for planned expenditures and monthly reports. “This will ensure transparency and accountability for the funds expended,” said Gov. Ige.
Joining Governor David Ige at his afternoon press conference were William Aila, Chairman of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and Norm Baker, Interim President and CEO of Aloha United Way who discussed details of the rental relief program for eligible Native Hawaiian families both on and off Hawaiian Home Lands.
*Video courtesy Gov. David Ige. / Facebook