June 24, 2021
The steering committee appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to recommend the best uses of $1.25 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds endorsed requests totaling $3.7 million from the departments of corrections, transformation and public safety.
Arkansas’ 15-member CARES Act steering committee — appointed by the Republican governor in late March of 2020 — recommended the governor approve the Department of Corrections’ request for $2.1 million; the Department of Transformation and Shared Services’ request for $829,484; and the Department of Public Safety’s request for $757,016.
The CARES Act is the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020, enacted by Congress and then-President Donald Trump in March 2020.
The state has a $2.5 million balance of relief funds, plus $1.3 million returned by several departments, Department Finance and Administration Secretary Larry Walther said.
Corrections Secretary Solomon Graves said in a letter dated June 18 to the committee that “with the covid-19 pandemic continuing, our resource needs have also continued,” so the department requested $2.1 million for reimbursement of medical and public health expenses.
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