Menendez, Booker, Pascrell Announce Additional $26M in Disaster Funding to Support NJ’s COVID-19 Response, Recovery Efforts

Menendez, Booker, Pascrell Announce Additional $26M in Disaster Funding to Support NJ’s COVID-19 Response, Recovery Efforts


NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (N.J.-09) today announced the awarding of a combined $26,390,478.40 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) grants to support New Jersey’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lawmakers have now secured over $134 million in PA grants to help the state’s pandemic response. The $2 trillion federal emergency stimulus package, known as the CARES Act, included $45 billion for the 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 important funding will help our state purchase needed personal protective gear, expand testing, hire contact tracers and advance efforts to reopen our economy and society.  The federal government must continue to step up to support our frontline workers and first responders battling COVID-19, protecting our communities and keeping our residents safe,” said Sen. Menendez. “I will continue fighting for the federal resources New Jersey needs to defeat this public health threat and address economic fallout.”

“The health of New Jersey families, frontline workers, and our economy is dependent on a robust federal response to this public health crisis,” said Sen. Booker. “Federal funding like this is another important step toward fighting this pandemic and protecting the health and safety of all New Jerseyans.” 

“New Jersey is at the epicenter of this pandemic, and we need all the federal support we can get. These federal resources inject some lifeblood to our efforts to combat this virus and save lives,”  said Rep. Pascrell. “Increased testing, expanding contact tracing, and securing protective equipment are the pillars of our state’s response efforts. While these federal awards recognize our needs and help New Jersey and our heroes on the front lines of this crisis, I will continue to fight for more since we’re still in the trenches fighting this virus.”

Sens. Menendez and Booker and Reps. Pascrell announced two separate PA grants:

  • $22,274,778.47 – This grant can be used to purchase personal protective equipment and pay the salary of frontline workers.
  • $4,115,700.00 – The grant will help the state in its emergency response and pandemic recovery efforts. The state can use this funding to expand testing, deploy contract tracers and support hospitals. This funding can also be used to help the state strategize re-opening efforts, guidelines to relax social distancing and long-term efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus.

The lawmakers previously announced PA grant awards for $8.7 million$6 million$43.6 million$21.3 million and $26.1 million to the New Jersey State Police and $2.3 million to the Bergen County Office of Emergency Management. 

Last month, Sens. Menendez and Cindy Hyde Smith (R-Miss.) introduced the Local Community Emergency Relief Act, which is bipartisan legislation to eliminate the cost-share payments required of states and communities included in federal disaster declarations in 2020. Sen. Menendez has led bipartisan requests from both the New Jersey congressional delegation and his Senate colleagues calling on President Trump to completely eliminate the local cost-sharing for FEMA disaster grants. Sen. Booker and Rep. Pascrell joined Menendez in those 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.



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