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Breakthrough? Governor Appoints Bipartisan Group to Spend OK CARES money

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 12, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt today announced a bipartisan legislative advisory group to work with his administration to distribute approximately $1.2 billion in federal funds provided to Oklahoma under the CARES Act.

“The legislators on this committee have the pulse of the communities they serve,” said Gov. Stitt. “I’ve said that Oklahoma is better when we work together, and I am excited to have their input on how we can use these federal funds to serve and enhance the lives of all four million Oklahomans.”

A news release from the governor’s office said the Stitt administration has been working for several weeks on establishing the framework for advisory groups and a robust tracking and reporting system for CARES Act reimbursements. Work also continues on a portal for local governments to submit COVID-19 related expenses for reimbursement under the CARES Act. 

“Under the direction of President Trump, our priority is to ensure these dollars intended for COVID-19 response are deployed swiftly and on target,” said Gov. Stitt. “As communities and their citizens struggle across Oklahoma, it is imperative we as leaders work together.”

Legislators on the advisory committee include:

  • Rep. Charles McCall, Speaker of the House
  • Rep. Jeff Boatman
  • Rep. Chelsey Branham
  • Rep. Chad Caldwell
  • Rep. Jason Dunnington
  • Rep. Jon Echols
  • Rep. Tom Gann
  • Rep. Kyle Hilbert
  • Rep. Marcus McEntire
  • Rep. Chris Kannady
  • Rep. Tammy West
  • Rep. Harold Wright
  • Sen. Greg Treat, President Pro Tempore
  • Sen. Nathan Dahm
  • Sen. Julie Daniels
  • Sen. Kim David
  • Sen. James Leewright
  • Sen. Greg McCortney
  • Sen. John Michael Montgomery
  • Sen. Dave Rader
  • Sen. Paul Rosino
  • Sen. Marty Quinn
  • Sen. George Young

According to guidance from the U.S. Treasury, CARES Act funds may only be used as reimbursement for costs that are related to the COVID-19 public health emergency, were not accounted for in existing budgets and are incurred between March 1 and December 30.

The guidance specifically states that “funds may not be used to fill shortfalls in government revenue to cover expenditures that would otherwise not qualify under the statute,” the news release said.

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