State Makes Plans For Hundreds Of Millions In Remaining COVID Aid
State officials are growing more confident that they’ll spend all of their federal pandemic aid by an end-of-year deadline, but that outcome is still in doubt.
Congress passed the CARES Act in March. The bill included help for state and local governments. South Dakota’s share was $1.25 billion.
The state has spent or obligated about $876 million. The money has gone to state and local government agencies, education, businesses, nonprofits and healthcare.
There’s about $374 million left. State officials plan to spend it on further rounds of grants for businesses, nonprofits and healthcare providers.
A legislative committee reviewed the situation Monday. State Sen. Reynold Nesiba, D-Sioux Falls, posed a question about the money, which comes from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) portion of the CARES Act.
“Are you confident we will have enough applications in by December 30th that we will be able to expend all these CRF dollars?” Nesiba asked.
The answer came from Liza Clark, the state’s chief financial officer.
“We are trying our hardest to get it to the folks that need it,” she said.
She added that after the next round of grants, the state could perhaps go back and give any leftover money to healthcare providers in yet another round of grants. She said as long as applications are in by Dec. 30, some of the money can go out in January.
The state hopes to start taking additional grant applications next week. The new grants could help businesses and nonprofits with more recent losses from this fall, after the first round of grants covered spring and summer losses.
The healthcare grants will go to hospitals, nursing homes, assisted-living centers and community health providers. They could use the money to cover losses and give hazard pay to employees, according to a couple of possibilities mentioned Monday.
-Contact reporter SDPB reporter Seth Tupper by email.