Governor urges counties to help with rent, hunger

By Michael R. Wickline
Arkansas Democrat Gazette

BENTON — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday challenged the state's 75 county judges to consider spending some of the counties' federal coronavirus relief funds on rental and food assistance.

While the Republican governor said the state's unemployment rate is well more than 2% lower than the national average, there are challenges for Arkansans who have lost their job, receive unemployment benefits and have had restrictions placed on them due to the covid-19 pandemic and are struggling financially.

Hutchinson said he supports the recommendation of the 15-member steering committee, which he appointed, to allow Arkansas cities and counties to be eligible for reimbursement of up to $150 million in federal funds for coronavirus-related expenses.

Counties would be eligible for up to $75 million of the funds, while the cities would be eligible for other half under the plan endorsed last week by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act steering committee that recommends the best use of the state's $1.25 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds. Read more.

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