US Senator Steve Daines announced on March 16 that Montana has received $4.5 million in funds from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The funds will be used in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak in Montana.  

“This critical funding helps protect Montanans and ensures that our communities have the resources necessary to handle the coronavirus outbreak,” Daines said. 

“I voted for this funding which is vitally important to those on the front lines responsible for coronavirus prevention, preparation, and response efforts. I will continue working with my colleagues in the Senate and with the Trump administration to move forward bold actions to protect Montanans' health and finances.” 

As outlined by the CDC, the funds will be used for planning, testing, developing effective tools and strategies, and maintaining communication between health agencies and partners.  

On March 17, Daines revealed three proposals to help support Montana’s economy during the coronavirus outbreak.  

Daines proposed a tax relief payment for workers and small businesses, payment for healthcare workers and first responders, and a suspension on Small Business Administration (SBA) loan payments for three months.  

The first of Daines’ proposal, a tax relief payment, would pay workers 7.65% of their 6 months' salary and pay small businesses 7.65% of total employees’ salaries. The tax relief payment comes on the heels of Daines’ work in Congress to help provide emergency assistance to employees who are unable to work due to the virus outbreak.  

Daines’ second proposal would pay $1,000 to EMTs, police officers, firefighters, and health care professionals as an additional acknowledgment of their work at the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Daines’ final proposal to suspend SBA loan payments would be an aid to small businesses who see financial losses during the outbreak.  

Daines has also been working to support tribal reservations during this outbreak. He urged the Department of Health and Human Services and President Trump to ensure that the Indian Health Service has the necessary resources to provide virus testing. 

About his series of proposals, Daines stated,“In addition to several priorities I’m working on to protect the health of Montanans, I’m fighting to help our working families, small businesses, first responders and healthcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak.” 

“We are in the midst of a massive public health and economic challenge because of the coronavirus outbreak. Our economy, our small businesses and the livelihoods of thousands of Montanans are at stake.”