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Maryland Delegation Urges FEMA to Provide Relief to the State and Local Communities Struggling to Provide Public Assistance during COVID-19

July 2, 2020
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Members of Maryland’s Congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, and David Trone (all D-Md.) in writing to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor Wednesday, urging the approval of Maryland’s request for an increase in the federal cost share for eligible public assistance program expenses to 100 percent, up from the current 75 percent. In such a large-scale emergency, the local cost-share could cost Maryland and local communities millions.

“Recovery from this unprecedented event will test the limits of state and local resources, thus federal assistance fills critical gaps in recovery activities while relieving pressure to cut back on public services and staffing levels. In addition, grant funds to reduce the impact of future pandemics, and disasters more broadly, will help alleviate the economic damage faced by Marylanders,” the lawmakers wrote.

Transferring the full cost to the federal government is standard practice during most major emergencies, “lessening the burden on local communities who are facing significant financial hardship.”

The full letter can be downloaded here.

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