Federal American Rescue Plan Includes Millions for County, Transit, Education

March 19, 2021
In The News

More than $303 million is expected to come to Montgomery County and its municipalities through the new federal American Rescue Plan. The county also will benefit through hundreds of millions of dollars more for local transit projects serving the region and for local schools. Montgomery County’s government alone will get $203.8 million in relief through the new plan, which President Joe Biden signed into law on March 11. Montgomery County, as the largest jurisdiction in the state, is getting the most. In a statement on Tuesday, the County Council said that the funding is critical to the county’s long-term recovery. “The robust federal funding coming to Montgomery County will go toward expanding and enhancing our public health response to COVID-19 and helping our restaurants, small businesses, nonprofits and working families recover from the economic impact of this pandemic,” the council said. “The funds will also bolster essential services and support critical county infrastructure.” Montgomery County’s federal delegation — Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Reps. John Sarbanes, David Trone, and Jamie Raskin — helped the plan pass in Congress. The Purple Line light rail project is expected to receive $106 million in stimulus money to help with its completion.... The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will receive $1.4 billion, which will avert service reductions expected as a result of a $500 million budget gap and an expected operating deficit of $1.7 billion. WMATA previously announced in December plans to terminate weekend Metro service, cut bus routes and close some rail stations because of the fiscal shortfall. Education funding through the plan will funnel $1.8 billion into Maryland for school districts and $549 million for colleges and universities. The specific funding for Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College had not been determined as of Friday morning. “This is the most transformative and impactful relief package that we have seen in our lifetimes,” the County Council said. “The council is incredibly grateful to our federal delegation for working with us this past year and understanding our residents’ needs. “The funds coming to Montgomery County through the American Rescue Plan put us in a strong position for fiscal recovery and long-term prosperity.”