Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker announced today the awarding of $26,135,661.28 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) public assistance grants to the New Jersey State Police to aid first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight.
The $2 trillion federal emergency stimulus package included a $45 billion 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.
“This federal funding will help New Jersey continue to respond to the coronavirus threat,” said Sen. Menendez. “These are vital resources our state and those on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19 need to protect our communities and the health of our residents. The dedicated men and women of the New Jersey State Police and other first responders putting their health and safety at risk to protect us all deserve our sincerest thanks and gratitude. I will continue to have their backs in Washington as they have ours here at home, and won’t stop fighting for the federal resources they need to ensure both their safety and that of all New Jerseyans.”
“We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to New Jersey’s first responders who have been on the front lines combatting the spread of this virus and protecting the health and safety of all New Jerseyans,” said Sen. Booker. “It’s vital that we ensure these brave men and women have the resources they need to keep themselves and our communities safe as they respond to this public health crisis. That’s why I will continue to fight for critical federal resources like this to let our first responders know they will never stand alone.”
The $26,135,661.28 awarded by FEMA represents only 75% of the total costs incurred so far by the New Jersey State Police to respond to COVID-19. FEMA’s guidelines require grant awardees to pay the remaining 25%.
Sen. Menendez has led bipartisan requests from both the New Jersey congressional delegation and 23 of his Senate colleagues calling on President Trump to eliminate the local cost-sharing for FEMA disaster grants, which would allow the state to recoup the full $34,847,548.37. Sen. Booker joined Menendez in both efforts.
Sen. 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 coronavirus.