Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)
The VA used supplemental COVID funding from three different bills to support expanded telehealth services and remote operations during the worst of the pandemic.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) received approximately $36.70 billion in supplemental funding outside of its annual appropriation from three COVID-19 relief laws between 2020 and 2021: the CARES Act; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA); and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). As of August 23, 2022, VA had obligated approximately 99 percent of its funds from the CARES Act and FFCRA and 56.9 percent of funds from ARPA.
At the height of the pandemic in April 2020, the City of Chicago learned that roughly 1 in 5 K-12-aged students did not have internet access at home. Schools had shifted to remote learning, and Chicago needed to act quickly to ensure that students could continue their education from home.
South Carolina Gov Henry McMaster (R-SC) and Rep James Clyburn (R-SC) announced the state has appropriated an investment of around $490,000,000 for broadband. The money comes from four broadband infrastructure grant programs. The state said it has already awarded $55,246,310. An additional $400,000,000 is planned to be awarded over the next 12 months, with an initial $180,000,000 by December 2022. The funding brought access to high-speed internet for more than 100,000 households in South Carolina.
Broadband funding for Native communities could finally connect some of America’s most isolated places
Rural and Native communities in the US have long had lower rates of cellular and broadband connectivity than urban areas, where four out of every five Americans live. Outside the cities and suburbs, which occupy barely 3% of US land, reliable internet service can still be hard to come by.
US Department of Commerce Invests $4.5 Million to Increase High-Speed Internet Connectivity in Idaho
The Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $4.5 million Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Port of Lewiston, Lewiston, Idaho, to expand internet connectivity for commerce, public health and safety and learning in North Central Idaho. This project will support the construction of a 95-mile segment of fiberoptic cable running from Moscow to Grangeville. This EDA grant will be matched with $1.1 million in local funds and is expected to create 120 jobs, according to grantee estimates.