Virtual Conversation | Washington Lt. Governor’s Race: Candidate Debate, Jul 15, 2020 Learn More

How much agencies and institutions have received in state funds for COVID-19 response

The Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM) published a breakdown this week of how $171 million in state funds have been distributed to state agencies and institutions for COVID-19 response efforts.

The $171 million figure is part of a total $200 million in funds budgeted by the Legislature in Engrossed House Bill 2965.

The lion’s share of the funds came from the Disaster Response Account created in the state treasury.

As laid out by OFM, the current allocations are listed below and sorted by agency.

Office of the Secretary of State

The Office of the Secretary of State received $1,668,755 to provide the required 20% state match for the $8.3 million Help America Vote Act (HAVA) CARES Act grant received by Washington State.

The CARES Act allocates $400 million in election grants to help states prepare for the 2020 elections. The federal grants requirements mandate that states use matching funds to prepare for or respond to issues posed by COVID-19 in the 2020 federal election cycle.

Department of Commerce

Since the beginning of the Pandemic, the Department of Commerce has received $38,250,000 million in state funds.

Most recently, DOC received $5 million on May 18 to distribute to the 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington for their COVID-19 response efforts.

In a letter to DOC Director Lisa Brown, OFM Director David Schumacher specified that COVID-related expenditures may include purchasing personal protective equipment, performing testing, assisting individuals who are homeless with social distancing and other prevention measures, providing quarantine and isolation space, purchasing health equipment and other health care costs, and covering the required unemployment match.

For the aforementioned purpose, each tribe will receive $100,000 and the remaining $2.1 million will be distributed based on population. An identical $5 million allocation for the tribes was distributed on April 3.

The first and largest infusion of state funds DOC received was a $23 million sum to address the public health needs of the homelessness population, specifically for social distancing measures, sanitation efforts, and shelter staffing needs.

Additional funds DOC received include $5 million for the Working Washington Small Business Grant program administered by DOC and $250,000 for Consolidated Technology Services (WaTech) and Washington State University to install infrastructure hardware for drive-in WiFi locations at schools and libraries.

University of Washington Medicine

UW Medicine has received $31,875,000 million in total state funds since the pandemic began.

The most recent round of funding was a $21,875,000 million infusion on May 12 to be used for “mitigating the spread of COVID-19.”

In a letter to UW President, Ana Mari Cauce, Schumacher listed numerous mitigation activities, including managing an emergency operations center; procuring personal protective equipment, medical supplies and other equipment; disposing medical waste; cleaning and disinfecting state-owned facilities and equipment; disseminating information to the public; making temporary modifications to health care facilities; and developing triage, intake and testing facilities.

The mitigation funds were distributed just under two months after UW received $10 million to pay solely for the costs incurred by UW Medicine for COVID-19 testing.

Office of Civil Legal Aid

The Office of Civil Legal Aid received $3 million to cover legal assistance for unemployment insurance claimants whose claims have been lost or denied and for tenants who face eviction pending termination of federal, state, and local eviction moratoria.

Health Care Authority

The Health Care Authority has received $2.26 million since pandemic began. The bulk of the funds ($2 million) were distributed on March 18 to establish a rural hospital emergency fund.

The remaining $226,000 was allocated to cover the sales tax portion of the Washington State Hospital Association’s purchase of personal protection equipment for hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other providers of medical services.

Department of Health

The Department of Health has received $75 million in state funds for COVID-19 response — the largest distribution of funds given to any state agency.

All of the funds DOH received came in the form of three infusions to pay for costs associated with state and local government response efforts.

The infusions came from both the General Fund and the Disaster Response Account.

Department of Social and Health Services

The Department of Social and Health Services has received $35.1 million in state funds for various COVID-19 induced needs.

$19.5 million was specifically allocated for covering costs associated with moving patients from hospitals to long-term care settings ($6 million) and purchasing a long-term care facility ($13.5 million).

Department of Agriculture

The Department of Agriculture received a one-time $10 million infusion of state funds to purchase food and food distribution supplies for food banks and other related non-profit organizations.

The Department was required to remit the federal funding they receive for this purpose to the State Treasurer for reimbursement to the Budget Stabilization Account.

Department of Enterprise Services

The Department of Enterprise Services received $360,000 to translate COVID-19 documents into 37 languages for 40 state agencies.

Your support matters.

Public service journalism is important today as ever. If you get something from our coverage, please consider making a donation to support our work. Thanks for reading our stuff.