July 28, 2020

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Legislation to Waive Federal Provision Preventing Nevada from Accessing Necessary Financial Support for Community Services

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in introducing legislation that would address the “maximum allotment” provision that is significantly limiting the amount of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act relief funds that can be awarded to smaller states through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program. The legislation waives the provision for the purposes of the CARES Act and any future supplemental CSBG funding provided by Congress for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. This would allow Nevada to receive the additional funding of $3.625 million in CSBG grants from the CARES Act, which is currently being withheld from the state due to the application of the maximum allotment provision.

“States like Nevada with smaller populations are currently missing out on significant amounts of funding from the CARES Act that could help Nevadans pay their rent and put food on the table. This common sense fix to the Community Services Block Grant program would clarify that the maximum allotment provision doesn’t apply to supplemental funding from the CARES Act or other coronavirus relief legislation, allowing the Silver State to access up to $3 million in additional funding for Nevada’s families. I’m doing all I can in the Senate to ensure that Nevada has the resources it needs to protect the state’s most vulnerable communities during these challenging times.”

BACKGROUND:

The CARES Act provided an additional $1 billion to the CSBG program to provide urgently needed social services and emergency assistance to Americans impacted by the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the “maximum allotment” provision within the CSBG Act, which authorizes CSBG grants, some states face significant restrictions in the amount of CSBG funds that they can receive. The provision prevents smaller states like Nevada from accessing the funds necessary to respond to the recent surge in demand for services. As a result, smaller states have only been able to receive $1.37 million in supplemental CSBG funds. Currently, $43.5 million in CSBG funding is being withheld that could otherwise be allocated to impacted states.

In June, Senator Cortez Masto joined a bipartisan letter highlighting the negative impact this provision is having on efforts to help address the economic effects of COVID-19 in their states, and urging Congress to lift this funding cap

###