Thursday, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) welcomed a $78,000,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the State of Iowa to help reimburse costs incurred from responding to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The funds, awarded through FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant Program, will reimburse three quarters of the projected eligible costs of purchases of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies and equipment – including face shields, gloves, respirators, and viral swab collection kits.
“For the past two months, Iowans have been fighting outbreaks of COVID-19 around our state and working to ensure that our hospitals, health systems, and front line workers have the protection they need to keep us healthy and safe – and the State of Iowa has taken on much of the financial burden of that fight,” said Rep. Axne. “I’m glad to see this award of federal emergency funds coming in so we can continue that fight, but we need more robust systems in place to safeguard our state and local budgets from being left without support as they see rising costs and declining revenue because of this pandemic.”
Earlier this week, Rep. Axne introduced bipartisan legislation to help the State of Iowa, counties, and cities make up for lost revenue during the COVID-19 outbreak. The new grant program proposed by Rep. Axne would ensure essential services like public safety, education, and health care are not cut as budgets are increasingly strained by the costs and effects of the outbreak.
The new FEMA grant covers purchases made by the state for May and June 2020. Last month, FEMA issued a $44 million grant for earlier purchases of PPE and other medical supplies.
Rep. Axne has been working with federal agencies to bring in more PPE to Iowa. In March, Rep. Axne led a successful effort with 75 of her colleagues from both sides of the aisle to ensure that PPE would no longer be subject to import tariffs