May 7, 2020

4 Central Florida counties to receive millions in federal funding for COVID-19 relief [WESH 2 NEWS]

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Chris Guardaro writes:

"ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Four local counties are receiving millions of federal dollars to set up coronavirus relief programs.

It is part of the $2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress and signed by the President.

Orange County is getting $243 million from the federal government. So far the only definitive program they are going to use federal coronavirus relief money on is for protective masks, hand sanitizers and other equipment for health care workers and small businesses that are reopening.


Sadaf Knight, CEO of the Orlando Think Tank Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added], says the funds cannot be used to fill a void from lost tax revenue, and that will have a devastating effect on local and state budgets.

'The funding that was allocated by Congress specifically said that it cannot be used for filling revenue shortfalls that were caused by all the business closures that we've seen, the lack of travel, social distancing. All the economic activity that has essentially stopped,' Knight said."


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