At a press conference in Helena on Wednesday, Governor Steve Bullock provided an update on the status of the $1.25 billion that Montana received from the federal CARES Act funding.

“Over $833 million of the dollars went to over two dozen grant programs that directly support businesses, schools, nonprofits, individuals and government entities,” said Bullock “The most in-demand of the programs was the business stabilization grants, in which we allocated $254 million and offered a total of three rounds to provide working capital for up to nine months of the year.”

Bullock also addressed the monies earmarked for local governments in Montana.

“The original allocation of the local government program was estimated to be at $300 million,” he said. “The total amount allocated to local governments will be less than $300 million anticipated earlier in the year and will be closer to $200 million, because local governments have already been made whole and local governments were not on track to spend the entire $300 million. We redirected the leftover funding to ensure its use by the end of the December 30 deadline.”

Bullock also provided an update on the COVID 19 vaccines which will be coming into Montana in the next few weeks.

“The committee voted yesterday to recommend that initial vaccine doses when approved, should be offered to health care personnel and residents of long term care facilities,” he said. “These recommendations now then go to the CDC director for final approval.”

Bullock provided more direct information about the coming vaccines.

“The initial first shipments of the vaccine could arrive as soon as December 15 or December 16,” he said. “While we don't know the exact number we expect, we have been told about 9,750 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and then we'll likely be receiving several thousand more doses in subsequent weeks. The second vaccine pending approval is the Moderna vaccine, and if the federal guidelines remain the same, the first shipment of that vaccine would come out about a week later.”

Bullock said all the monies for Montana from the $1.25 billion have already been allocated and no more federal funds are expected.

 

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