Durbin, Duckworth Announce $65 Million Reimbursement For Illinois COVID-19 Emergency Spending

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced that Illinois will receive $65.3 million in back payments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) thanks to President Biden’s decision to waive the 25 percent state cost share requirement for assistance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 2020, Durbin and Duckworth have been calling for the federal government to cover 100 percent of the costs under the COVID-19 National Emergency Declaration and subsequent COVID-19 Major Disaster Declarations.

“After the Trump Administration refused to respond to multiple requests to provide relief for state and local governments, I’m pleased President Biden made the decision to ease the financial burden on states by providing 100 percent retroactive FEMA reimbursements,” Durbin said. “Between providing PPE, collecting COVID-19 tests, and mobilizing of the National Guard, the emergency response to this crisis has been immense, and I’m glad that Illinois is receiving the funding support it needs.”

“For more than a year, our state has worked tirelessly to help save lives and keep Illinoisans healthy—and that includes vigorous COVID-19 testing, National Guard activation and many other necessary measures,” Duckworth said. “Today’s federal reimbursement is a critical lifeline from the Biden Administration to help Illinois get to the other side of this public health crisis.”

Typically, federal disaster funding requires a 25 percent state and local cost-sharing match. But through Direct Federal Assistance and Public Assistance for Emergency Protective Measures during a Major Disaster Declaration, FEMA is authorized to cover up to 100 percent of federal cost share for response and recovery costs “if warranted by the needs of the disaster.” President Biden’s recent directive allows FEMA to pay 100 percent federal funding for the costs of activities that have previously been determined eligible, from the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021.