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State Finance Council approves increased COVID-19 testing, small business grants

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Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 4:42 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The State Finance Council has approved up to $65 million for increased COVID-19 testing and small business grants.

Governor Laura Kelly says the State Finance Council unanimously approved up t $45 million more in COVID-19 tests across Kansas and up to $20 million more for small business grants.

“Today’s actions will bolster our Unified Testing Strategy and allow us to provide up to one million COVID-19 tests by the end of the year,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I want to thank the State Finance Council for supporting the health priorities of our state and increasing funds for small businesses, which are essential for our economic recovery.”

According to Gov. Kelly, the $65 million approved is from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, part of the federal CARES Act. She said after getting proposals from public and private laboratories across the state, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has decided it could invest up to $95 million t start its unified testing strategy.

Gov. Kelly said previously, the SFC authorized $50 million for COVID-19 testing, and with the new funding, the Office of Recovery will be able to invest up to $95 million in testing.

According to Gov. Kelly, the SFC approved another $20 million for small business grants. She said around $35 million has already been awarded in grants.

Additionally, Gov. Kelly said the SFC approved providing the Office of Recovery the ability to redistribute any unused funds among previously approved programs. She said the CRF requires funds to be used by the Dec. 30 deadline.

Gov. Kelly said the Office of Recover oversees the CRF programs and will move money from program to program based upon need, demand and ability to implement by the deadline.

“With only 39 working days remaining before December 30, we need a dynamic approach, and I want to thank State Finance Council for providing us the flexibility to deliver timely investments to Kansans,” Executive Director Julie Lorenz said. “We know our state’s needs exceed the funds available, and we’re committed to leveraging these dollars to help as many Kansans as we can.”

According to Gov. Kelly around $25 million of the CRF remains in the state reserve. She said the SFC will meet again in November to approve final investments.

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