ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland spent more than $610 million of its federal COVID-19 relief money thus far, with the bulk going toward rent and mortgage assistance, unemployment benefits, aid to the tourism and hospitality industries, and other initiatives to offset the negative financial impacts of the pandemic, according to a new report released by Gov. Larry Hogan’s office on Tuesday.

The report also provides further details for some of the initiatives outlined in a bipartisan agreement for the remaining $3.7 billion.

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“I am pleased to unveil this latest roadmap of Maryland’s investment of the $3.7 billion that the state is receiving from the federal government to help us recover from this unprecedented public health crisis,” Hogan said in a statement. “We worked hard to push the White House and Congress to provide relief to the states, and now we are making sure that this relief is going directly to the people, the businesses, and the programs where it will do the most good.”

Between March 3 and July 31, the state spent 47% of the $610 million disbursement to bolster the economy, with $108 million going to rent and mortgage assistance, $40 million going to unemployment benefits, $50 million going to the tourism, travel and hospitality industries, $30 million going to nonprofit organizations, and $72 million in cash assistance for households.

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Additionally, more than $52 million was directed to public health expenditures, and early $98 million was spent on premium pay for public sector employees responding to the pandemic.

In the agreement announced in March, Hogan, Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones said $1.1 billion of the remaining funds would shore up the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and stabilize the unemployment tax for the years 2022 and 2023; $600 million would go toward education funding, including $80 million to support improved HVAC and ventilation systems; $500 million would go toward infrastructure improvements; and $300 million would be invested in broadband technology.

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CBS Baltimore Staff