Statement by Governor Martin O'Malley on American Recovery and Reinvestment Funding
ANNAPOLIS, MD (April 10, 2009) – Governor Martin O’Malley issued the following statement today following two announcements by the Obama Administration regarding American Recovery and Reinvestment funding.
Today, Vice President Joe Biden announced the Administration will make $2.3 billion available for crucial health and human services programs that help to provide care for children and prevent disease. In addition, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the availability of $100 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), provided through a FEMA grant.
“The Recovery and Reinvestment funding announced today represents some of the many ways we are working with our federal partners to expand the safety net to Maryland’s families during these difficult economic times.
“Maryland’s more than $24 million for childcare and development will support child care services for more working families, allowing parents to receive the job training, education, or employment they need to get ahead.
“In addition, Maryland will use its $1.4 million share of the in Emergency Food and Shelter Program funding to serve families with a variety of services, including mass shelter and feeding, food distribution through pantries and food banks, rent and mortgage assistance, and transition assistance from shelters to stable living conditions.
“As we work to rebuild our economic infrastructure and create jobs, we do so while putting families first and protecting the most vulnerable among us.”
States will receive $2 billion in Recovery Act funding to support child care for working families. The Administration also plans to make $300 million in vaccines and grants available to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need. These funds will be used by states to provide vouchers to families for child care or to provide access to care through contracts with child care centers or invest in quality improvements. Recovery Act dollars will support a wide range of child care providers, including child care centers and home-based programs. Maryland’s share of these dollars includes nearly $2 million in quality expansion, more than $1.1 million for infants and toddler programs, and nearly $21 million in childcare and development discretionary funds.
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program uses measures of unemployment and poverty to allocate the funds it receives from FEMA to city and county jurisdictions around the country. To serve areas in need that do not qualify based on this formula, the National Board established the State Set-Aside Program in 1987 to award additional funds to each state based on a number of extenuating variables, including recent spikes in unemployment and isolated pockets of homelessness or poverty, among others. Objectives of the program are to allocate funds to the neediest areas; to ensure fast response; to foster public-private sector partnerships; to ensure local decision-making; and to maintain minimal but accountable reporting.