$400 million approved to help Kan. counties fight health, economic challenges from COVID-19

Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 8:11 PM CDT
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The State Finance Council Tuesday approved the distribution of $400 from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to local Kansas governments to help fight health and economic challenges bought to their communities by COVID-19. The funding also is intended to help Kansas communities prepare for possible future outbreaks of the virus.

“This first round of coronavirus aid will be critical as we work to get Kansans back to work and school, in the safest way possible,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I’m pleased that the State Finance Council acted quickly, and in the best interest of Kansans. We must continue to provide our communities with the resources needed to mitigate the spread of the virus and revitalize our state’s economy.”

The initial proposal for funding came from Kelly’s Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce Executive Committee, charged with distributing over a billion dollars in federal funds Kansas received under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“The funds approved today are a great first step in helping our communities recover from the unique health and economic challenges created by COVID-19,” said Cheryl Harrison-Lee, Executive Director of the Recovery Office. “We will continue to consult with community members as well as experts from the public and private sectors so that our local governments can access funding that fulfills their individual recovery and preparedness needs.”

With the first round of funding, each Kansas county will receive resources based on their population, case rates, and unemployment rates, Kelly’s office said in a Tuesday news release. Counties will receive funds for reimbursement and direct aid for eligible expenditures under the CARES Act.

The State Finance Council, on Tuesday, also approved $16.7 million for state agencies in COVID-19-related costs, as well as expenditures for the Office of Recovery.

“These reimbursements will help offset the unexpected expenses caused by COVID-19 so that Kansans can continue to receive agency support,” Governor Kelly said. “Now more than ever, our state agencies must be ready to offer their quality, much-needed services to the people of Kansas.”

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