Congress may give state, local governments flexibility with COVID recovery funds

Some unspent money might be diverted to infrastructure work

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A measure that recently passed the U.S. Senate unanimously would give state and local governments some flexibility in how they use unspent federal COVID stimulus funds.

Called the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act, the legislation gives flexibility to state and local governments to use unspent COVID-19 relief funds for infrastructure projects.

Under the original Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and other federal spending packages passed in the COVID-19 era, Congress provided some flexibility for how COVID-19 funds could be spent, but most funds were not able to be used for infrastructure projects. This bill gives state and local officials additional flexibility and time to responsibly spend remaining COVID-19 relief dollars.

Kentucky has more than $1.1 billion in unspent relief funds.

“I want to provide our local leaders with the flexibility to use unspent COVID-19 relief funds for projects their community need most.  Infrastructure is a real need.  We must upgrade our roads, bridges, airports, wastewater and other traditional infrastructure throughout the Commonwealth.  This commonsense proposal provides the opportunity to do just that without a massive tax increase, more blowout spending or new government mandates,” said Republican Sixth District U.S. Rep. Andy Barr.

Additionally, the bill permits eligible governments to spend the greater of $10 million or 30% of their total fiscal relief funding for categories like the: National Highway Performance Program, Tribal Transportation Program, Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, and the Highway Safety Improvement Program.

Categories: Local News, News, State News