State reallocates $72 million in CARES funds meant for counties, citiesRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jan 21 2021 3:27 PM
Last Monday, $72 million in CARES Act funds originally designated for Alabama counties and cites was re-allocated by state officials and legislators to the state’s Unemployment Trust Fund at the recommendation of the Alabama Department of Finance.
This unanimous decision — made Monday by a six-legislator panel comprised of outgoing Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, House Speaker Mac McCutcheon and the Legislature’s four budget committee chairmen — reduced the budget for both cities and counties to a combined $178 million. That’s a reduction of 29 percent down from total allocation of $250 million.
Accounting for already reimbursed funds as of Jan. 17, $54 million remains for counties and $38 million for cities in available reimbursements, according to the state’s budget and expenditures dashboard for CARES act funds.
“The Association cannot express in strong enough terms its disappointment and dismay at today’s decision,” wrote Sonny Brasfield, executive director of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, in an email to county leadership on Jan. 11. “For more than six months, counties have struggled with changing guidance, inconsistent responses and moving eligibility requirements. Many counties have expended funds based on email communication stating that items would be eligible for reimbursement only to learn today that funding has now been withdrawn without warning.”