Texas governor announces federal emergency funding to assist cities and counties impacted by pandemic

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (Center R) approaches the line for people to attend the public viewing for George Floyd outside the Fountain of Praise church on June 8, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Floyd died May 25 while in Minneapolis police custody, sparking nationwide protests. A white police officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder, with the three other officers involved facing other charges. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, Texas (KVEO) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Wednesday that his Public Safety office will provide $41 million in federal funds to assist cities and counties throughout the COVID-19 response.

According to a release, the first round of awards will be totaling $7 million and will be distributed this week.

The funds come from the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) Program authorized by the federal emergency appropriations for Coronavirus Health Response and Agency Operations Act, according to the release.

“I thank our federal partners for their support and ongoing collaboration as we work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Texas,” Abbott said. “This funding is a critical to helping local governments protect Texans and combat the spread of the virus in our communities. The State of Texas will continue to work with the federal government to help meet the needs of our cities and counties as they respond to COVID-19.”

Funds awarded under the CESF Program will be used by local units of governments for first responder overtime and hazard pay; equipment and supplies supporting teleworking technologies, social distancing and personal protective gear; county jail costs associated with the medical needs of inmates as well as reimbursement for holding inmates awaiting transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The CESF Program provides financial assistance to cities and counties to address the public safety challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19. The Governor’s Public Safety Office (PSO) is responsible for administering these funds and is moving quickly to release awards.

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