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ID Governor Issues Guidance For Spending Pandemic Relief Money

Screenshot from Idaho Public Television

Idaho Governor Brad Little is not a big fan of the federal Covid aid package. He says it’s too expensive and rewards governments and businesses that have irresponsibly spent money during the pandemic. Nevertheless, he said on Thursday the Gem State will accept its share.“Rejecting the funds would mean California, New York, Illinois and other big states would get to spend Idahoans tax dollars. Rejecting the funds would mean Idaho gives up our say on how our allocated share gets spent," Little said.

On Thursday, he outlined his priorities for how Idaho recipients should spend it. He says money should be limited to one-time projects that don’t require future fiscal obligations.

Little’s office says state and local governments will receive about one-point-nine billion dollars for Covid relief. State agencies will receive another billion. Other money is going directly to businesses and individuals, for example, the $1,400 stimulus check you may have already received.

“Unlike the federal CARES Act dollars Idaho received last year, which we had only nine months to spend, we have nearly four years to spend most of the new money. That means we can take our time and be strategic and thoughtful in allocating the money," he said.

He says he’ll travel the state this year and work with legislators to identify targets. The feds are allowing some of it to be spent for water, sewer and broadband infrastructure projects.