State to give Madison $4 million to cover COVID-19 costs as part of new grant initiative.

The city will receive the money as part of the state’s $200 million “Routes to Recovery” program, announced today. Photo: Richard Hurd, licensed under creative commons.

Author: Sam Buisman

Listen to the audio version of this story here, originally aired on 5/27/20.

Madison will receive over $4 million from a new state grant program to cover certain COVID-19 costs.

Through a press release published Wednesday afternoon, Governor Tony Evers announced the “Routes to Recovery” program, which will provide $200 million in grants to Wisconsin cities to reimburse unexpected expenses related to the coronavirus pandemic, including purchases of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, pandemic-related emergency services and isolation housing for quarantining individuals among others. According to the Wisconsin Department of Administration, over $4.1 million of these funds are allocated for the City of Madison.

These grants are intended to supplement the over $1 billion in state-wide spending by directing additional money to the communities that need it the most.

Discussing the program in a media briefing, Governor Evers emphasized that these funds could also be used by local communities to provide paid sick leave to health care workers who have been exposed to the virus. 

“This paid leave is very important as these workers are putting themselves on the line to keep us all safe,” said the Governor, “and they shouldn’t lose a paycheck if they have to quarantine after being exposed while working to keep us and our communities safe.”

Of the $200 million in total grants, $10 million will be reserved for Wisconsin’s tribal nations. The remaining $190 million will be allocated to Wisconsin’s cities, towns and villages based on their population, with no local government receiving less than $5,000.

According to the WDA, Dane County as a whole is slated to receive over $8.7 million through this program.