Nearly $600 Million Going To Local Governments, Nonprofits
(STL.News) – The Governor’s Office is providing nearly $600 million in coronavirus relief and recovery dollars for local Arizona governments and nonprofits as part of a funding plan announced today by Governor Doug Ducey. The plan includes $441 million in direct, flexible funding to local cities, towns and counties that did not receive direct funding earlier this year from the federal government. In addition, local governments, tribal communities, schools and more will be eligible for expedited reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for coronavirus-related expenses, including purchases of testing supplies, PPE and more.
“Our office has met with mayors and county leaders to hear directly how COVID-19 is impacting their communities, and this plan delivers for them,” said Governor Ducey. “It maximizes flexibility and prioritizes getting dollars quickly to where they’re needed most. From our cities and towns, to our hospitals, schools, tribal communities, nonprofits and more, we are all in this fight together. My thanks to all the local leaders stepping up to protect local health, restart our economy and make sure that Arizona returns stronger.”
“This funding from the AZCares Fund will help Peoria get dollars where they are needed most,” said Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat. “My thanks to Governor Ducey for his work to streamline this funding so we can put it to use quickly and efficiently.”
“Whether it’s protecting public health or getting assistance to families in need, Yuma County is taking on greater responsibilities than ever before to respond to this pandemic,” said Yuma County Supervisor Russell McCloud. “These dollars will help us continue that critical work, and we thank Governor Ducey for prioritizing flexibility in the allocation of these resources.”
“The Governor met with us. We told him about the importance of flexibility when allocating these dollars and he delivered,” said Town of Sahuarita Mayor Tom Murphy. “With these dollars, Sahuarita and communities around the state will be better equipped to protect public health and get our businesses up and running more quickly.”
“As leaders of rural communities, we often face unique challenges in the administration of healthcare and government services,” said City of Maricopa Mayor Christian Price. “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges. I’m grateful for the Governor’s thoughtful approach in allocating these resources and for giving us the maximum flexibility in how we can use these dollars to meet the needs of our citizens.”
“Kingman has worked to protect residents and ensure businesses can continue serving their customers,” said Kingman Mayor Jen Miles. “As we work to reenergize our economy and keep people safe, these dollars will go a long way. Thank you to Governor Ducey for his leadership and for incorporating the input of local mayors and county leaders.”
“The Town of Gilbert is working hard for our community as we face personal and financial hardship in these uncertain times,” said Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels. “My thanks to Governor Ducey for ensuring that AZCares Funds lift all Arizona communities directly and with a focus on a safe and strong Arizona future.”
“Families, individuals and businesses throughout Chandler are in need of support amid this pandemic. Governor Ducey has worked with our communities to ensure they get the help they need to overcome these difficulties,” said Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke. “Thank you to the Governor for your support to Chandler communities and businesses, and for your work to make these dollars readily available.”
“Throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis, Governor Ducey has acted with steady leadership and great concern for the people of Prescott and all of rural Arizona,” said Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli. “I want to thank Governor Ducey for prioritizing the health and safety of everyone in our community. I also want to thank him for acting quickly to get these significant funds to our city with as much flexibility as possible.”
As part of the plan, cities, towns and counties that did not receive direct funding from the U.S. Treasury as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will receive a direct allocation from the state. The resources will come from a new fund established by the Governor’s Office, the AZCares Fund, and will be allocated based on 2019 census data, the same methodology used by the U.S. Treasury when distributing federal CARES Act funding. Local governments may use their allocation to cover regular payroll costs of public health and public safety personnel, freeing up existing local budget capacity to be deployed elsewhere. The fund is designed to provide maximum flexibility, while minimizing red tape, so municipalities can determine how best to use the funds to meet their needs.
Arizona Express Pay Program
In addition, Governor Ducey today launched the Arizona Express Pay Program, streamlining the application process for accessing public assistance from FEMA. Eligible entities include local governments, tribal communities, state agencies, nonprofit hospitals, nonprofit long-term care, skilled nursing and assisted living providers, school districts, charter school organizations, and fire districts. The program expedites delivery of resources for eligible projects related to COVID-19 response efforts and will be managed by the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA).
As part of the program, the Governor’s Office will provide $150 million to expedite FEMA reimbursement requests, helping get needed relief dollars to local entities faster.