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Essential services in Kansas receive $290 million in COVID-19 relief funds

Coronavirus relief funding
Coronavirus relief funding(MGN)
Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 4:30 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Child supervision, public health and other essential services are getting an infusion of $290 million in COVID-19 relief funding.

Governor Laura Kelly says the State Finance Council unanimously approved $290 million to go to public health, essential needs and services, business resiliency and workforce development programs that had been recommended by the Executive Committee of the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas Taskforce.

“These funds will provide child supervision for parents with school-age children to ensure they can keep working, reduce evictions, and provide tools to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I commend the SPARK taskforce and the State Finance Council, who crafted and approved these recommendations that will strongly support Kansans' health and keep our state on the path of economic recovery.”

According to Gov. Kelly, recognizing constantly evolving health and economic needs which have been created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the recommendations do not send the entirety of the funds at once. She said, instead, the Office of Recovery will watch demand for the funds from approved programs and submit more allocations to the State Finance Council for approval.

Gov. Kelly said each program requires a minimum be invested in an emphasized area, including COVID-19 testing, housing stability and remote learning centers for school-age children. She said if those areas do not need more funding, the remaining money will be allocated to previous programs approved by the SFC in round two.

“It was important to the SPARK taskforce to ensure there was flexibility and to not overcommit funds too early and be unable to respond should needs shift again this fall,” SPARK Chairman Lyle Butler said. “I want to thank SFC for sharing this concern and supporting a dynamic approach that will serve Kansas well.”

The Kansas Governor says the $290 million approved is for the third and final round of funding of the Coronavirus Relief Fund, part of the federal CARES Act. She said previously, the SFC approved $400 million to Kansas counties in round one and $314 million for statewide priorities of public health, education, economic development and connectivity in round two.

“I want to thank both SPARK and the State Finance Council for providing the flexibility to deliver timely investments and ability to respond to shifting needs,” Recovery Office Executive Director Julie Lorenz said. “With flexibility comes an even greater need for transparency and accountability for how these funds are utilized and we remain committed to reporting our progress to SPARK, SFC, and Kansans so they can see how their tax dollars are being spent.”

Gov. Kelly says a breakdown of minimum investment requirements and allocations approved for each program is as follows:

  • Public Health
    • Minimum investment required: $52.7 million for COVID-19 testing
    • Allocations: $10 million for KDEM/FEMA match, $10 million for PPE for Adult Homes
    • Reserve fund: $30.3 million
    • Program total: $105 million
  • Essential Needs and Services
    • Minimum investment required: $35 million for housing stability
    • Allocations: $30 million for continuity of Ops., $30 million for KDOL
    • Reserve fund: $25 million
    • Programm total: $120 million
  • Business Resiliency and Workforce Support
    • Minimum investment required: $40 million for child supervision
    • Allocations: $5 million for HIRE fund
    • Reserve fund: $20 million
    • Program total: $65 million

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