Phoenix – The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved spending guidelines to disperse more than $398 million during 2020. This money was distributed to Maricopa County by the U.S. Treasury as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
The purpose of this money is to cover expenditures related to the public health emergency that were not already included in this year’s budget. The County has already spent some CARES Act money. Expenditures so far include purchasing personal protective equipment, hiring extra medical personnel, disinfection and sanitation services, and mitigating the spread of disease among vulnerable populations.
“This amount of money gives us the ability to enhance our services and help many people in our County,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Clint Hickman. “But we are at the beginning of a long fight against this disease and have to be responsible and prepare for unforeseen needs.”
Maricopa County continues to increase funding to the public health response by placing large orders of personal protective equipment, hiring more contact tracing investigators and leasing and staffing space to house at-risk people experiencing homelessness. County departments and elected offices continue to adapt operations to the emergency. The county manager will advise Board members of new opportunities to target this money in ways that help County residents.
“We have spent close to $9 million in little more than a month on programs specific to COVID-19, and fully expect spending to accelerate as we meet increasing needs for testing and contact tracing in the community,” added Chairman Hickman. “This is what the federal money was meant for.”
Today’s vote to approve the guidelines sets up a CARES Act Funding Coordination Team to evaluate requests coming from departments, County elected offices and the Superior Court. CARES Act funding can only be used on expenses incurred between March 1 and December 30, 2020.