Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today announced $718,750 in federal funding from the Department of Justice through the Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) COPS Hiring Program (CHP). Both Senators are long-time supporters of funding for the COPS program via the Appropriations process. These funds will allow Virginia law enforcement agencies to hire new or rehire career law enforcement officers to better serve communities, reduce crime, and advance public safety through community policing efforts.

“Community policing allows our police departments to build relationships with the communities they serve,” the Senators said.“These funds will help make our police departments more effective and more responsive while fostering a positive and strong relationship between officers and members of the community.”

The funding will be distributed as follows:

  • The City of Buena Vista will receive $93,750. 
  • The City of Manassas Park will receive $250,000.
  • The City of Radford will receive $375,000. 

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA), along with Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA-02), sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today requesting that she direct the National Park Service to accept a 40-acre donation of land that would enhance and protect the Fort Monroe National Monument.

“Despite Fort Monroe’s significance to American history and exceptional recreational value, the monument, as it exists today, includes a very small number of historic buildings and fee ownership of less than half the property’s 565 acres. The fortress itself – the largest stone fort constructed in North America – remains in state ownership, while an easement allows the Park Service some control over its use. Virginia retains full responsibility for the fortress and the dozens of historic buildings on the property,” wrote the lawmakers.

“This donation would establish a physical connection between the two sections of Fort Monroe, creating an unbroken coastline along the Chesapeake Bay from Old Point Comfort to the northern end of the property,” they continued. “Despite the expected additional modest federal financial responsibility that would be expected from a land donation, we believe the cause of protecting and enhancing Fort Monroe is worth the Park Service’s additional investment. Fort Monroe has a unique and diverse history to tell and a tremendous amount of untapped potential we believe can be unlocked.”

Fort Monroe was built between 1819 and 1834 to protect the entrance to Hampton Roads. During the Civil War, Major General Benjamin Butler issued his famous “contraband decision” at Fort Monroe, ordering that escaped slaves who reached Union lines could not be returned to bondage. It was this consequential decision that earned Fort Monroe the nickname “Freedom's Fortress.”

In 2019, following the Trump Administration’s failure to accept the land donation, Sens. Warner and Kaine introduced legislation to add these 40 acres to Fort Monroe in order to unify the two divided sections and achieve an unbroken coastline along the Chesapeake Bay.

Full text of the letter can be found here and below: 

Dear Secretary Haaland:

We write today to request that you direct the National Park Service to accept a pending 40-acre land donation from the Commonwealth of Virginia to the Fort Monroe National Monument. The addition of this land would accomplish a longtime goal of connecting the eastern section of the property and would help protect the monument for future generations.

In 2011, then-President Barack Obama designated Fort Monroe a national monument using his authority under the Antiquities Act. Fort Monroe holds a special place in Virginia and our nation’s history that tells a unique, complicated, and diverse story. Despite Fort Monroe’s significance to American history and exceptional recreational value, the monument, as it exists today, includes a very small number of historic buildings and fee ownership of less than half the property’s 565 acres. The fortress itself – the largest stone fort constructed in North America – remains in state ownership, while an easement allows the Park Service some control over its use. Virginia retains full responsibility for the fortress and the dozens of historic buildings on the property.

In 2015, the Commonwealth of Virginia agreed to donate approximately 40 coastal acres including additional land in the Wherry Quarter to Fort Monroe, to enhance and protect the monument. Following a thorough review, the Park Service indicated it could accept a land donation of approximately 40 acres in the eastern section of the Wherry Quarter. This donation would establish a physical connection between the two sections of Fort Monroe, creating an unbroken coastline along the Chesapeake Bay from Old Point Comfort to the northern end of the property. The Commonwealth remains committed to donating this property to Fort Monroe and is willing to work with the Park Service to determine the best use for the property.

The approximately 40 acres of coastal land contain several low-rise non-historic buildings, which could be demolished or utilized for alternative purposes. We understand the Commonwealth has continued to negotiate in good faith to lease these buildings to new tenants, which would mitigate any potential costs to the Park Service. Despite the expected additional modest federal financial responsibility that would be expected from a land donation, we believe the cause of protecting and enhancing Fort Monroe is worth the Park Service’s additional investment. Fort Monroe has a unique and diverse history to tell and a tremendous amount of untapped potential we believe can be unlocked.

Acceptance of this land donation would demonstrate to the Commonwealth that the Park Service is a reliable federal partner that can be relied on to follow through on its plans. In recent years, Virginia and the Park Service have endorsed a “One Fort Monroe” concept, which has the goal of elevating Fort Monroe as a national treasure and unlocking the landmark’s vast historical and recreational potential. Recently, the Commonwealth has worked collaboratively with the Park Service to open a new combined visitor center and hosted a successful 400th anniversary commemoration event regarding the arrival of the first Africans in North America. Moving forward with this land donation will help strengthen the relationship between the Commonwealth and Fort Monroe and help the monument move closer to realizing its vast potential.

We respectfully request that the Department of the Interior move forward with accepting this land donation from the Commonwealth of Virginia as quickly as possible. This transfer has been delayed for too long and the time is now for this donation to move forward. We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to your response.

 

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WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced a series of federal grants totaling $6,852,407 awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Virginia.

“The Head Start and Early Head Start programs ensure schools, organizations, and communities have the resources they need to support young children and their families,” said the Senators. “We’re thrilled to see these federal dollars go toward promoting early childhood development in the Commonwealth and will continue advocating for investments in our nation’s children.” 

The funding will be awarded as follows:                                                                                                                           

  • Total Action Against Poverty in the Roanoke Valley will receive $3,060,545
  • Stafford County School District in Stafford will receive $2,766,107
  • Spotsylvania County School Board in Fredericksburg will receive $1,025,755

Head Start programs promote school readiness for children under 5 years old from low-income families through health, education, family support, and social services. Early Head Start (EHS) programs serve infants and toddlers under the age of 3, and pregnant women.

As Governors and Senators, Warner and Kaine have long advocated for investments in early childhood education. 

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NEWPORT NEWS, VA - Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA), as well as Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02), and Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), announced the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) has been awarded a $847,646 grant from the Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) through the U.S. Department of Transportation. Specifically, this grant will provide funding to expand service at PHF with a new United flight to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).  

“We are glad to see this vital funding go toward supporting travel throughout the Commonwealth, while also promoting greater economic opportunities for the surrounding areas,” said Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.  

“This grant will not only provide vital air service between the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) and Washington Dulles Airport (IAD), but benefit the entire Greater Peninsula area,” said Congressman Rob Wittman. “By returning United Airlines to PHF with regular service for the first time since the early 1980’s, this grant allows PHF to meet the regions’ growing business demands through vital connections to overseas destinations. I am proud to have advocated on behalf of this funding for the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, and look forward to watching as this project improves the economy and quality of life across coastal Virginia.” 

“Providing an additional direct flight from Newport News/Williamsburg to Washington Dulles Airport is critical to meeting the transit and economic needs of the over 500,000 residents of the Peninsula,” said Congresswoman Elaine Luria. "Time after time, I have voiced the importance of investing in our regional infrastructure, and I am proud to have helped secure this victory alongside the Virginia delegation on behalf of Peninsula residents.”

“This grant will greatly benefit the Commonwealth by providing regular air service between Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) and Washington Dulles Airport (IAD),” said Congressman Bobby Scott. “This will help reduce congestion on our roadways, boost our economy, and provide more connection to overseas destinations. I am thankful for the bipartisan effort to secure this grant funding and look forward to seeing its implementation.” 

“The Peninsula Airport Commission and its staff are grateful for the tremendous amount of public and private support our community provided us during the application process,” said Michael Giardino, Executive Director of the Peninsula Airport Commission. “We are committed to bringing reliable commercial air service to the Virginia Peninsula.” 

This grant announcement follows a series of letters sent by Representatives Wittman, Luria, and Scott, as well as Senators Warner and Kaine, to the United States Department of Transportation recommending the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport be awarded this grant from SCASDP. You can find these letters attached to this release.  

Congressman Rob Wittman represents the First District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he serves as the ranking member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $13,715,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded to four airports across the Commonwealth to fund infrastructure improvements to the airports’ runways. 

“We are pleased to see these federal dollars awarded to the Commonwealth to go toward updating four of Virginia’s airport runways,” said the Senators. “This funding will enable our airports to better support travelers and economic opportunities for the surrounding areas.”

A breakdown of the funding is below:

  • Virginia Highlands Airport Commission will receive a grant of $3,216,000 to go toward a runway extension at the Virginia Highlands Airport in Abingdon. 
  • Stafford Regional Airport Authority will receive a grant of $5,499,000 to go toward a runway extension at the Stafford Regional Airport in Stafford.
  • Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority will receive a grant of $3,300,000 to go toward a runway reconstruction at the Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles.
  • Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority will receive a grant of $1,700,000 to go toward a runway reconstruction at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA), along with Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are stepping up to the plate today by introducing the Minor League Baseball Relief Act to help the nine Minor League Baseball (MiLB) teams in Virginia who are hurting economically after the COVID-19 crisis threw a curveball into their 2020 season. The Minor League Baseball Relief Act would provide up to $550 million in federal relief funding for MiLB teams, which serve as important economic engines in communities across the Commonwealth as baseball fans come to attend games and end up patronizing local businesses like restaurants, hotels, and other attractions. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by heavy hitters Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and David McKinley (R-WV).

“For many working families, catching a weekend Minor League Baseball game at stadiums across the Commonwealth is an affordable and fun family outing,” said Sen. Warner.“Baseball isn’t just America’s pastime, it also represents an economic lifeline for many communities. However, like many small businesses throughout the COVID-19 crisis, our Minor League Baseball teams in Virginia and across the country have struggled mightily to keep the lights on. Since there was no Minor League Baseball season in 2020 due to the pandemic, many of these teams have sustained heavy financial losses that have not been substantially mitigated by existing small business economic relief programs. I’m pleased to work with my colleagues on this bill that would allow these local treasures access to economic relief.”

“Baseball is not only America’s favorite pastime, bringing friends and families together; it’s also a critical economic engine for the Commonwealth,” said Sen. Kaine. “Teams in communities across Virginia support our local economy and create jobs. The pandemic has taken a toll on this beloved sport, and I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to help MiLB teams through this economic crisis.”

The bases are loaded in Virginia, with nine MiLB teams in the Commonwealth eligible for financial relief under the Minor League Baseball Relief Act, which include the:

·         Fredericksburg Nationals (formerly Potomac)

·         Norfolk Tides 

·         Richmond Flying Squirrels

·         Lynchburg Hillcats 

·         Danville Otterbots (formerly Braves)

·         Pulaski River Turtles (formerly Yankees)

·         Salem Red Sox 

·         Bluefield Ridge Runners (formerly Blue Jays)

·         Bristol State Liners (formerly Pirates) 

The Minor League Baseball Relief Act would be modeled after the successful Shuttered Venue Operator Grants (SVOG) program, which has provided needed assistance to venues like theatres, museums, or concert halls that were forced to shut due to necessary COVID-19 safety measures. 

Specifically, the Minor League Baseball Relief Act would:

·         Repurpose up to $550 million in COVID-19 relief funding for an emergency grant program to be administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) that would otherwise be returned to the U.S. Treasury.

·         Provide eligible clubs grants up to a maximum of $10 million. Allowable expenses include payroll costs, regular business expenses (e.g., rent, utilities), worker protection expenditures, and payments made to independent contractors.

·         Provide an opportunity for a second grant at 50 percent of the first if a club’s revenue does not recover and does not significantly exceed its 2019 total.

·         Require strict oversight from SBA through documentation, review of use, and an audit on grant funding, and applies to any minor league baseball team previously part of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues but not to any club that is majority-owned by Major League Baseball.

Play ball and read a copy of the bill text here.

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WASHINGTON – Over the last 24 hours, here’s just some of what Virginians have been reading about the $7.2 billion in relief funds that are headed to the state and local governments thanks to the American Rescue Plan:

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Virginia cities to get double boost from American Rescue Plan as money starts to flow

Virginia will receive $4.3 billion, or $500 million more than previously expected, under the American Rescue Plan Act, while Richmond and other cities will get a double financial benefit because of their status as independent cities under guidance released by the U.S. Treasury Department on Monday.

Richmond, for example, will receive $110 million as a city and almost $45 million as a county under the act, which President Joe Biden signed into law on March 11 as the first signature legislative achievement of his presidency to jump-start an economy battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

[…]

Many localities lost substantial amounts of revenue from taxes on meals, lodging and admissions during the pandemic and state restrictions imposed on businesses, especially in areas dependent on tourism, such as Williamsburg and the rest of the Historic Triangle.

“They’re slowly coming back as the economy slowly reopens,” said Neal Menkes, a fiscal consultant to the Virginia Municipal League.

Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, D-Va., drove the needs home in a letter with the state’s seven Democratic congressional representatives to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in mid-April that argued for funding as both city and county: “The treatment of independent cities under the Treasury Department guidance for allocating local relief funds will have a profound impact on our constituents,” they wrote.

Virginia cities would have lost almost $500 million in funding if counted only as cities or towns, and almost $800 million if designated only as counties, the Democrats said.

Daily Press: Over $790M in rescue-plan funds heading to cities, counties and colleges in Hampton Roads

The American Rescue Plan will pump more than $790 million of pandemic relief funds into the Hampton Roads economy through funding to local governments and area colleges and universities.

The plan, enacted earlier this year, is giving $618 million to Hampton Roads cities and counties, Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced. The state government will get nearly $4.3 billion — the combined total of funds for the state and its cities and counties comes to $7.2 billion, the senators said.

They said they were pleased the Biden administration listened to their calls to give state and local governments flexibility in using the money. It should help the state and its cities and counties recover from the impact of lost revenue, as well as boosting public health efforts and broadband expansion, the senators said.

Colleges and universities in Hampton Roads will receive more than $162 million in emergency funding under the American Rescue Plan, Reps. Robert C. “Bobby Scott, D-Newport News, and Elaine Luria, D-Norfolk, reported.

The funding will help the schools cope with the financial impact of the pandemic, said Scott, chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor. 

At least half the funding each institution is getting will be distributed as emergency cash assistance grants to students who are facing hunger, homelessness or other hardships, he said.

WVTF: How much is your community getting from ARPA?

The Treasury Department released much-awaited figures regarding aid from the American Rescue Plan Act Monday evening. In total Virginia’s set to receive $7.2 billion. $4.3 billion will go to the state, and $2.9 billion directly to localities.

Virginia’s cities organize themselves in a way that’s unlike almost all other states. That created worries that cities would miss out on their share of funds from the America Rescue Plan Act. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, along with Virginia’s House Democrats, wrote to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asking her to give independent cities money for both cities and counties.

County allocations are generally based on population, where as metro city allocations were based on a set of variables from the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, wrote Rob Bullington of the Virginia Municipal League in an email. Independent cities don't fall into either of these categories. 

“I think the Virginia delegation did a great job in making the case that this was the legislative intent of ARPA that these funds be provided as was shown in the first traunch,” said Bob Lazaro, the Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission.   

NBC29: Virginia to receive $7.2 billion from Treasury Department’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds

The Winchester Star: Warner, Kaine praise Treasury's launch of state, local COVID relief funds

Bristol Herald Courier: Local cities, counties divide $70M in coronavirus relief funds

Culpeper Star-Exponent: Culpeper area counties to receive more than $35 million from American Rescue Plan

The Northern Virginia Daily: Warner, Kaine praise Treasury's launch of state, local COVID relief funds 

Chatham Star-Tribune: Over $40 million in COVID relief coming to Pittsylvania County, Danville

WHSVVirginia to receive $7.2 billion from Treasury Department’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds

The Southwest Times: County to get $6.6M in relief funds

Henrico Citizen: Henrico to receive $64.2M in American Rescue Plan funds

Local leaders across Virginia have praised the passage of the American Rescue Plan, noting that state and local governments have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 response since last year.

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $19,155,185 in federal funding to provide economic relief to 11 airports across Virginia. The funding, awarded through the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), was authorized by the December 2020 emergency COVID-19 relief bill supported by Sens. Warner and Kaine.

“We are happy to announce that these funds will go towards supporting 11 airports in Virginia,” said the Senators. “While we work to get folks vaccinated and the economy back on track, these dollars will help ensure that our regional airports have what they need to continue combating COVID-19 and serving travelers.” 

The funding will be distributed as follows:

Airport:

Location:

Amount:

Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport 

Albemarle County

$2,928,978

Culpeper Regional Airport

Culpeper County

$23,000

Louisa County/Freeman Field Airport

Louisa County

$13,000

Lynchburg Regional Airport

Campbell County

$1,261,006

Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport

Newport News

$1,951,578

Norfolk International Airport

Norfolk

$5,768,825

Richmond International Airport

Henrico County

$6,143,825

Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport

Augusta County

$ 1,005,973

Stafford Regional Airport 

Stafford County

$13,000

Warrenton-Fauquier Airport

Fauquier County

$23,000

Winchester Regional Airport

Frederick County

$23,000

Specifically, this funding will go towards helping airports cover costs related to operations, personnel, cleaning, sanitization, janitorial services, debt service payments, and efforts to combat the spread of pathogens.

Sens. Warner and Kaine have long fought for increased investments to infrastructure, including for Virginia’s airports. Most recently, they supported the passage and signing of the American Rescue Plan, which provides robust transportation funding for airports and other transit systems throughout Virginia.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement today after President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law: 

“By signing the American Rescue Plan into law, President Biden has taken an enormous step in defeating the COVID-19 pandemic and setting our nation on a clear path forward to rebuild from this crisis. Soon, this bold legislation will start delivering urgent relief for Virginians and funding for the Commonwealth’s top priorities.

“The American Rescue Plan will help our nation heal by getting vaccines into arms, expanding COVID-19 testing and tracing, and providing schools with the resources they need to reopen safely. It will also tackle the vast economic challenges related to COVID-19 by putting checks in Americans’ hands, helping small businesses keep their doors open, increasing nutrition benefits for families, assisting struggling renters and homeowners, cutting the child poverty rate in half, and providing funding for state, local, and tribal governments facing drastic budget shortfalls. This bill also includes a record $17 billion in funding to increase affordability and access to broadband – a priority I was proud to secure for the 700,000 Virginians who are still unable to access high-speed internet a year into a pandemic that has further pushed our world online.

“Like any ambitious piece of legislation, the American Rescue Plan is not perfect. I will be the first to acknowledge that the price tag is a significant one. However, this moment is too pivotal to risk doing too little and the future of our country is well worth the investment. I look forward to working to ensure that funding is distributed appropriately, programs are implemented quickly, and Virginians get the help they deserve.”

Through the American Rescue Plan, the Commonwealth of Virginia will receive, among other funding, more than $6,875,000,000 in state and local government funding; $451,000,000 in emergency rental assistance; $2,999,000,000 in education funding; $1,348,000,000 in rural transit funding; and $1,517,221,000 in urban transit funding. Additionally, more than 3,611,000 households in Virginia will benefit from individual stimulus checks. 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement after voting for the American Rescue Plan, legislation to provide emergency relief to the American people and defeat the COVID-19 pandemic: 

“This legislation will help our country defeat COVID-19 and get back to normal. It includes desperately needed resources to get vaccines into arms; help schools reopen safely; and provide much-needed lifelines to the communities hardest-hit by this virus. 

“I will be the first to acknowledge that this bill is not perfect. I am glad that as the Senate considered this legislation, we made some important changes to target aid where it is most badly needed as millions of Americans remain out of work, state and local governments continue to lay off workers, and small businesses struggle to keep their doors open.

“I’m especially proud that I was able to work with President Biden and my colleagues to add funding to expand access to high-speed internet, which is a necessity, not a luxury, during COVID-19. The $17 billion we secured to help expand broadband infrastructure and affordability represents the largest-ever federal investment of its kind and will be a significant boost to our economy as we work to rebuild and recover from COVID-19.”

According to current estimates, there are approximately 700,000 Virginians who still lack access to high-speed internet, which has become increasingly essential for telecommuting, distance learning, telemedicine, and more amid the COVID-19 crisis. As a former governor and now in the Senate, Sen. Warner has long fought for increased access to broadband in the Commonwealth. In December, Sen. Warner negotiated and passed COVID-19 relief legislation that included $7 billion towards broadband, including $3.2 billion for an Emergency Broadband Benefit to help low-income families maintain their internet connections, $285 million to support broadband access in minority communities, and $300 million in broadband grants modeled on bipartisan provisions Sen. Warner drafted with his colleagues. Sen. Warner has also introduced comprehensive broadband infrastructure legislation to expand access to affordable high-speed internet by investing $100 billion to build high-speed broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities, and has also introduced bipartisan legislation with Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott (R-SC) to establish a $10 billion Broadband Development Fund to prioritize funding for areas that currently lack service, support the deployment of advanced technologies in areas where there is the greatest need, and encourage projects that can quickly provide internet service.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), about 21 million Americans do not have access to 25/3 mbps internet, which is the FCC’s standard for high speed broadband. Of that 21 million, 16 million live in rural areas, while 5 million live in urban areas.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today announced $179,010,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Virginia.

“As our nation mourns 500,000 lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to distribute the vaccine is more urgent than ever,” said the Senators. “We are glad to announce that this funding will provide increased support to distribute vaccines equitably throughout the Commonwealth, and we remain committed to ensuring that every Virginian has access to the vaccine as quickly as possible.”

This funding, awarded through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, will be overseen and distributed by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM). It can be used to support efforts to store, transport, secure, handle, announce, and administer the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the Commonwealth.   

The most recent COVID-19 package negotiated by Sen. Warner and supported by both senators included $19 billion for vaccines and therapeutics and $8.75 billion for states for vaccine distribution.   

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WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $5,740,241 in federal grant funding through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for Head Start and Early Head Start programs throughout Virginia.

“These programs are critical to help ensure that our schools and organizations across the Commonwealth have the resources they need to support our future leaders,” the Senators said. “We’re excited to see this funding go toward promoting early childhood development.” 

The following organizations will receive funding:

Recipient

City

Amount

 

Augusta County School Board

 

Verona

$1,205,103

People Incorporated of Virginia

 

Abingdon

$2,383,149

STEP, Inc.

 

Rocky Mount

$1,120,735

Eastern Shore Area Agency on Aging/Community Action Agency

 

Exmore

$1,031,254

Total:

 

$5,740,241

As Governors and Senators, Warner and Kaine have advocated for investments in early childhood education. Head Start programs promote school readiness for children under 5 years old from low-income families through health, education, family support, and social services.

 

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WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $10,022,292 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for Virginia health centers.

“This federal funding will support centers who are doing life-saving work in their communities during the ongoing health crisis,” the Senators said. “We’re pleased to see these federal dollars go towards supporting Virginia health centers.”

The following organizations will receive funding:

 

Recipient

City

Amount

 

Johnson Health Center

Lynchburg

$1,597,851

Southern Dominion Health Systems, Inc.

Victoria

$1,288,427

Peninsula Institute For Community Health, Inc.

Newport News

$3,464,307

Vernon J. Harris East End Community Health Center

Richmond

$2,648,674

Blue Ridge Medical Center, Inc.

 

Arrington

$1,023,033

Total:

 

$10,022,292

 

This funding was awarded through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Health Center Program, which provides funds to community-based health care providers that provide primary care services in underserved areas. These health centers must meet a stringent set of requirements, including providing care on a sliding fee scale based on ability to pay and operating under a governing board that includes patients.

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today announced $1,600,000 in federal funds for planning district commissions in Virginia to support redevelopment and revitalization in order to diversify and strengthen regional economies. The funding was authorized by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act supported by Sens. Warner and Kaine.

"We're pleased to announce this critical funding which will support Virginia's planning district commissions in addressing the COVID-19 outbreak that has devastated our communities. We must ensure they are equipped with the tools necessary to continue to provide essential services while keeping workers safe," said the Senators

The funding will be distributed as follows: 

  • The Crater Planning District Commission will receive $400,000
  • The Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission will receive $400,000
  • The West Piedmont Planning District Commission will receive $400,000
  • The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission will receive $400,000.

Through the CARES Act, Congress provided $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. The funding was awarded through the EDA’s CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which provides financial assistance to communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the pandemic's fallout.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement after voting in favor of a $2 trillion bipartisan package to provide financial relief to businesses and families as well as hospitals and local governments during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: 

“This is not the first step Congress has taken to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, nor will it be the last. This bill provides significant financial relief to our families and businesses struggling with the effects of widespread closures and other public health measures. It greatly expands access to unemployment benefits – including, for the first time, gig workers, contractors and the self-employed –  and includes tax credits and other incentives I negotiated with the Trump Administration to help small businesses keep workers on payroll and keep them from going out of business during this crisis. This bipartisan bill also includes a massive infusion of resources for hospitals, frontline caregivers, and states and localities dealing with the brunt of COVID-19. I strongly urge the House of Representatives to pass this bill without delay, so that we can get this urgently-required relief to those who so badly need it.

“This is a challenge unlike any we have faced in recent memory, but I believe that we as a country can and will get through this together. I will remain in close touch with state, local and health officials to ensure that we are doing everything possible to provide the resources needed to fight the coronavirus.”

Previously, the President signed a bipartisan $8.3 billion emergency funding bill that directed needed resources to federal, state and local agencies responding to coronavirus. This legislation immediately provided Virginia with $13.3 million in federal funding to help cover the costs of preparations for this public health emergency. It also included language based on Sen. Warner’s CONNECT for Health Act of 2019, which reduces restrictions on the use of telehealth for public health emergency response, as well as $500 million to facilitate its implementation.

On March 18, the President signed a second bipartisan coronavirus response bill that focused on the immediate economic impact of the coronavirus. This legislation expanded paid sick leave to many Americans, cut restrictions on unemployment insurance for workers who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut, and guaranteed freed coronavirus testing. It also included significant emergency funding for Medicaid, nutrition assistance, state unemployment programs, and coronavirus testing at Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers.

Today’s legislation provides for $1,200 in direct payments to most Americans, and includes billions of dollars in lending and grant programs designed to help businesses, workers and municipalities survive this crisis, along with strong transparency and accountability measures to make sure that federal funding doesn’t go towards stock buybacks or bonuses for corporate executives. Today’s bipartisan bill also provides for $150 billion for hospitals and other public health infrastructure, part of an unprecedented investment that Sen. Warner and other Democrats fought to include as our frontline responders struggle under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic. It also includes an important change to existing tax policy allowing employers, for the first time, to use pre-tax dollars to help pay down employees’ student debt – provision modeled after Sen. Warner’s bipartisan Employer Participation in Repayment Act.

A more comprehensive list of Sen. Warner’s work to protect Americans amid the coronavirus outbreak is available here.  

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $10,500,000 in funding from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to improve airport infrastructure at two airports in Arlington and Martinsville.

“We’re pleased to announce this funding to enhance airport infrastructure,” said the Senators. “These grants will support local airports as they help Virginians travel more efficiently.”

  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington will receive a grant of $3,500,000 to rehabilitate an apron.
  • Blue Ridge Airport in Martinsville will receive a grant of $7,000,000 to expand an apron.

This funding was granted through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP), a program that provides grants for the planning and development of public-use airports that are significant to national air transportation.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $391,400 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for rural business development and public safety.

“We’re pleased to announce these grants to strengthen local businesses and public safety in the Commonwealth,” the Senators said. “This federal assistance will go directly towards supporting local entrepreneurs and law enforcement in Virginia.”

$277,200 in funding comes from USDA’s Rural Business Development Grants program, which seeks to support targeted technical assistance, training, and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging businesses in rural areas:

  • In Bedford, $76,000 will go towards a revolving loan fund to support small and emerging businesses in the area. The fund aims to expand local businesses to create new jobs and stimulate the local economy.
  • In Charlotte County, $126,200 will go towards the purchase of a refrigerated truck and a walk-in cooler for Southside Virginia Fruit and Vegetable Producers. The purchase would help distribute locally grown fresh produce to the community, while supporting the local farmers and assisting 12 businesses.
  • In Roanoke, $75,000 will go towards a revolving loan fund at The Advancement Foundation to assist small and emerging businesses located in Alleghany, Botetourt, and Buchanan Counties. The fund aims to expand local businesses to create new jobs and stimulate the local economy.

$114,200 in assistance comes from USDA’s Economic Impact Initiative Grant, which seeks to help further the development of essential community facilities in rural areas with extreme unemployment or severe economic depression:

  • In Craig County, $25,000 will go towards the purchase of a sheriff's vehicle and equipment. Craig County currently has a patrol car that is no longer deemed be safe or reliable. This purchase will benefit 1,016 people.
  • In Clintwood, $21,000 will go towards the purchase of 10 sets of new turnout gear and related equipment to meet the safety requirements for the fire department. The department’s current equipment no longer meets safety requirement and needs to be replaced to ensure the safety of volunteers. This purchase will benefit 1,414 people.
  • In Grayson County, $19,200 will go towards the purchase of a new properly equipped sheriff's vehicle. Several of the county’s current vehicles are no longer deemed to be safe or reliable. This purchase will benefit 15,533 people.
  • In Lebanon, $25,000 will go towards the purchase of a new properly equipped police vehicle. A number of the county’s current vehicles are no longer deemed to be safe or reliable. This purchase will benefit 3,424 people.
  • In Tazewell, $24,000 will go towards the purchase of a police vehicle. The current vehicles are no longer deemed to be safe or reliable. This purchase will benefit 4,627 people.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $504,450 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the Mount Rogers Health District in Southwest Virginia, which oversees eight localities at the epicenter of the addiction crisis. The funding will allow the district to partner with researchers across the country on solutions to address the addiction crisis in Southwest Virginia. 

“The drug addiction crisis has hurt every region of Virginia. We need to invest in more resources to better understand how to prevent and combat substance use disorders,” the Senators said. “This funding will help expand services for families impacted by addiction and support studies that explore how early exposure to substance abuse affects young people.”

The Mount Rogers Health District serves Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth, Washington, and Wythe counties, and the cities of Bristol and Galax. The first round of this project will build capacity at partner sites. The second round will support a ten-year longitudinal study.

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today applauded $23,979,453 in federal funding from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand broadband to nearly 7,000 unserved homes and businesses in seven counties across Southwest Virginia.

 “The lack of broadband infrastructure continues to affect folks in rural Virginia, from business owners to students,” said the Senators. “In our evolving economy, broadband isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity. That is why we’re glad to see these federal dollars go toward helping connect nearly 7,000 homes and businesses in Southwest Virginia.”

The funding will be distributed over ten years to support Sunset Digital Communications in providing minimum download speeds of 1 Gbps and minimum upload speeds of 500 Mbps. It will be awarded as listed below:

  • Buchanan County – $3,485,482 to serve 626 locations.
  • Dickenson County –$5,623,553 to serve 1617 locations.
  • Lee County – $3,351,835 to serve 1018 locations.
  • Russell County – $7,258,590 to serve 2556 locations.
  • Tazewell County – $2,900,697 to serve 714 locations.
  • Washington County – $57,143 to serve 9 locations.
  • Wise County – $1,302,153 to serve 404 locations.

The funding will be awarded as part of the Connect America Fund (CAF)’s Phase II – the second phase of an FCC program that seeks to expand access to voice and broadband services. CAF provides funding to providers to subsidize the cost of building new network infrastructure or performing network upgrades to expand voice and broadband service in areas where it is lacking. Across the Commonwealth, the FCC has authorized more than $108.5 million to expand broadband to 39,658 rural homes and businesses. 

Under this subsidy, providers are required to build out to 40 percent of the assigned homes and businesses within three years. Buildout must increase by 20 percent in each subsequent year, until complete buildout is reached at the end of the sixth year of support.

Sens. Warner and Kaine have been strong supporters of expanding broadband access in Virginia as Governors and Senators, and have encouraged President Trump to include broadband as part of any bipartisan infrastructure initiative.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine applauded $4,849,792 in federal funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) through its Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) initiative for communities in the Appalachian region of Virginia.

“We’re excited to support these investments to strengthen Virginia’s economy,” the Senators said. “This funding will help promote job growth, allow more people to access job training, and support rural businesses.”

The funding will be awarded as follows:

  • The Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board in Lebanon, VA will receive $1,500,000 for the Recovery Opportunities and Pathways to Employment Success (ROPES) project. The ROPES program combines recovery and treatment from substance abuse with reemployment opportunities and workforce development to create a recovery-to-employment pathway.
  • Appalachian Community Capital (ACC) in Christiansburg, VA will receive $1,039,500 for the Opportunity Appalachia project. ACC has worked with five organizations, including the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, to develop a program that helps bring investment funding to federally designated Opportunity Zones in Central Appalachia. The initiative is estimated to bring in approximately $7.5 million in new investment in Central Appalachian coal communities, and will invest in 15 businesses and create 720 jobs, 70 of which are estimated to be for people recovering from substance abuse.
  • Appalachian Headwaters will receive $622,280 for the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective Diversification and Expansion project. Appalachian Headwaters aims to expand its programs focused on the apiculture (honey and bee products) industry to five counties in the Appalachian region of Virginia and 17 counties in southern West Virginia. The project will develop a training and marketing program for new bee products and services as well as create a new processing and training hub in Southwest Virginia.
  • The BARC Electric Cooperative in Millboro, VA will receive $1,000,000 for the BARC Rural Economic Development via Broadband project. The project will bring broadband access to 8 businesses and 301 households in Goshen.
  • Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) in Cedar Bluff, VA will receive $588,072 for the SWCC Automotive Service Excellence Center. The project will create a fast-track curriculum to prepare students for entry-level automobile technician positions.
  • The LENOWISCO Planning District Commission in Duffield, VA will receive $50,000 for the Technology Innovation Ecosystem for Rural Water Systems project. The project will identify innovative and emerging technologies that can be used to address potential leaks in small, rural public water systems.
  • Appalachian Voices will receive $49,940 for the Taking a Proven Energy Model to Scale project. The project will provide technical assistance to grow the emerging solar energy cluster in Central Appalachia. This funding will support a program in Southwest Virginia that helps building owners who want to use solar energy navigate the process of a commercial-scale solar installation. The program also pools purchasers together to reduce their costs.

The ARC’s POWER Initiative provides grants to communities that have been affected by severe job losses in the coal industry and the changing dynamics of America’s energy production. ARC's mission is to innovate, partner, and invest in the growth of new industries in Appalachia to diversify the region’s economy. Warner and Kaine have been strong advocates for a fully funded ARC so that it can continue to increase employment and economic opportunities for those living in Appalachia.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $1,003,327 in federal funding for Rockingham County and the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program. These grants aim to improve responses and outcomes for individuals with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders who have come into contact with the criminal justice system.

“We’re pleased to announce this funding to help reduce recidivism among individuals struggling with mental illness and substance abuse,” said the Senators. “For too long, our country has failed people with mental illnesses who often end up in jail without getting the treatment they need. By creating partnerships between law enforcement officers and mental health professionals, we can improve our criminal justice system’s response to those in need of mental or behavioral health services.”

The following will receive funding:

  • The Richmond Behavioral Health Authority will receive $253,327.
  • Rockingham County will receive $750,000.

DOJ’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program is a cross-system collaboration among criminal justice, mental health, and substance abuse treatment systems. The program supports increased training for law enforcement and public safety officials to better prepare them for their interactions with high-risk individuals with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders. It does this by providing social services and activities including: training for criminal justice, mental health, and substance use disorders treatment personnel; information sharing within and across criminal justice and behavioral health treatment agencies; and specialized caseloads for people on community supervision with more significant mental health needs and higher risk of reoffending.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today announced $8,288,283 in federal funding to support access to safe and affordable housing in Richmond and Suffolk. This funding, from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), was awarded through four grant programs – the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program, the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program, and the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program.

“We are glad to see this federal funding go towards supporting access to decent and reasonably-priced housing in Richmond and Suffolk,” said the Senators. “We look forward to seeing both of these cities put these funds to use and help those with the greatest need.”

The funding will be awarded as below.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program provides annual grants on a formula basis to states, cities, and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons:     

Recipient

Amount

 

Richmond

$4,462,031

Suffolk

$459,389

The HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program provides formula grants to states and localities to fund a wide range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership as well as providing direct rental assistance to low-income people. HOME is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households:

Recipient

Amount

 

Richmond

$1,455,440

Suffolk

$348,260


The Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program provides funding to engage homeless individuals and families living on the street, improve the number and quality of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families, rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families, and prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless:

Recipient

Amount

 

Richmond

$376,954

The Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program provides states and localities with resources and incentives to devise long-term comprehensive strategies for meeting the housing needs of low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS. It is the only federal program dedicated to the housing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS:

Recipient

Amount

 

Richmond

$1,186,209


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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today announced $1,060,000 in federal funding from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to support various improvement projects at airports in Newport News, Norfolk, Winchester, and Orange County.

“We’re happy to announce this federal funding for much-needed airport improvement projects,” said the Senators. “These grants will fund projects to upgrade our airports and make it safer to travel in and out of the Commonwealth.”  

  • Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport will receive $300,000.
  • Norfolk International Airport will receive $225,000.
  • Winchester Regional Airport will receive $420,000.
  • Orange County Airport will receive $115,000.

The funding was awarded through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program, which supports infrastructure improvement projects at airports across the nation, including the construction and rehabilitation of runways, taxiways, and aprons. Sens. Warner and Kaine have long fought for increased investments to infrastructure, including for Virginia’s airports, and have pushed back against the Trump Administration’s suggested budget cuts to DOT to ensure that critical upgrades like these can happen. Additionally, Sen. Warner introduced a bill earlier this year to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure, create jobs, and generate economic stimulus.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today applauded more than $590,000 in federal funding for Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to expand digital access to library collections.

“Academic libraries are an invaluable resource with the potential to benefit universities and communities across the Commonwealth, said the Senators. “We are thrilled that this grant will allow Virginia Tech and the Blacksburg community to activate a wealth of existing knowledge and continue to foster learning and innovation.”

  • $505,214 will allow Virginia Tech University Libraries to deploy cutting-edge computer science and machine learning technologies to advance discovery, use, and potential for reuse of the knowledge hidden in the text of books and book-length documents. In collaboration with Virginia Tech Computer Science and Old Dominion University Computer Science, the effort will devise methods for the extracting and analyzing segments of long documents (chapters, reference lists, tables, figures), as well as methods for summarizing individual chapters of longer texts to enable findability.
  • $87,151 will go towards developing a model for community engagement that fosters robust partnerships among academic libraries and regional organizations in Blacksburg, Va. This model will help expand digital access to collections and networks that are rich in cultural heritage but are isolated due to a lack of robust digital infrastructures.

This funding was awarded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grants for Libraries program, which funds projects that enhance the quality of library and archive services nationwide by advancing theory and practice.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $844,100 in federal grants and loans for the towns of Quantico, Stanley, Pennington Gap, Marion, Galax, Cape Charles, and Exmore to purchase nine vehicles and equipment through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Rural Development.

“We’re pleased to support rural communities in Virginia with federal funding to improve safety and boost public facilities,” the Senators said. “This funding will help ensure that these communities can replace outdated equipment and better serve residents.”

The following localities will receive funding as follows:

The Town of Quantico will receive a grant of $21,600 and a loan of $17,800 to purchase a 2018 Ford F-150 police truck to provide reliable public safety services for the town of Quantico's residents. This new vehicle will replace a 27-year-old high mileage truck.

• The Town of Stanley will receive a grant of $35,700 and loan of $29,300 to purchase two Dodge Durangos to provide public and emergency services in Page County. 

• The Town of Pennington Gap will receive a grant of $50,000 and loan of $269,000 to purchase a new, properly equipped pumper truck. The truck is a 2019 crew cab pumper with a 1,250-gallon-per-minute pump and a 1,000-gallon tank and will replace a 1987 pumper. The new truck will be able to transport up to five people instead of only two, as allowed in the old truck.

• The Town of Marion will receive a grant of $50,000 and loan of $180,000 to purchase a properly equipped 4x4 Type 1 ambulance. The current ambulances are 10 to 21 years old. The town has been affected by the opioid crisis in Southwest Virginia, which has increased the number of ambulance calls for the Emergency Services Department. The present ambulance fleet is not sufficient to provide adequate coverage and services for the town and surrounding areas.

• The City of Galax will receive a grant of $25,000 and loan of $23,700 to purchase two police vehicles. The police vehicles are used 24 hours a day/7 days a week by three rotating shifts. They accumulate high mileage quickly, averaging 40,000 miles a year. Some of the older, high-mileage vehicles need to be replaced because they are no longer considered safe and reliable.

• The Town of Cape Charles will receive a grant of $11,000 and loan of $23,000 to purchase a police vehicle. Each of the town of Cape Charles' six police officers has a vehicle. The town has a six-year rotation policy, where they take the oldest vehicle or the one with the most mechanical problems out of service for the safety of their officers and town residents.

• The Town of Exmore will receive a grant of $50,000 and loan of $58,000 to purchase a six-wheel sanitation vehicle to serve the town of Exmore's residents and businesses. The town has two trucks for trash pickup. One of those vehicles was retired due to its age and poor condition, leaving one high-mileage 10-year-old truck to service the entire town.

USDA’s Community Facilities Program provides funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings.

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