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Alabama Must Spend COVID-19 Money by Year’s End or Return it to Federal Government

 

Montgomery, Ala. – Alabama has just over a month to spend about $850 million in coronavirus relief funds allocated to the state by Congress. If that money is not spent by Dec. 30, it will return to the U.S. Treasury. 

Last week, the SPLC Action Fund sent a letter to Gov. Kay Ivey and other state officials urging that the funds be spent before the end of the year to help Alabamians who are struggling during this pandemic. 

“The quickest way to increase the impact of these funds is to ensure it gets into the hands of those families most impacted by the pandemic, including families with incomes below the state’s median income who have lost work, lost hours at work, or who have had to take on childcare or elder care at home since March,” the letter said. “These families will in turn spend those funds on rent, childcare, and ensuring that their families have enough food to eat. This could include direct stimulus payments to families, rental assistance to landlords, and utility assistance.”
 
Alabama originally received $1.9 billion in assistance. That $850 million has not been spent even though families and businesses throughout the state continue to struggle. 
 
The following is a statement from Shay Farley, interim deputy policy officer for the Southeast at SPLC Action:
 
“It would be inexcusable to give this money back to the federal government when Alabama has so many unmet needs. So many people have lost their jobs, are unable to get food or medicine for their families and are dealing with caring for children or elderly relatives. It is our hope that the governor, the Legislature and others in the state government make good use of this money before the year ends. 
 
“The SPLC Action Fund encourages Alabamians to contact Governor Ivey and their state representative and senator and urge them to allocate the money.”
 
Alabama residents can find out who their legislators are here.