PANEL FOR CORONAVIRUS RELIEF—Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has formed a panel to come up with ways to spend the $1.5 billion dollars the state is receiving from the latest federal coronavirus relief package. Democrats passed the bill in Congress without a Republican vote through the budget reconciliation process. The Republican governor on Tuesday signed an order creating a 14-member steering committee for the state’s share of the $1.9 trillion relief measure that became law in March. During his announcement- Hutchinson explained how the federal money should be used.
"It needs to be investments that we can make that does not incur long-term spending and indebtedness to the state," Hutchinson explained. "And so not necessarily programmatic investments as much as capital investments is what I hope we can look for; obviously we're going to have some short-term humanitarian needs that will be a part of it as well."
Hutchinson formed a similar committee for the coronavirus relief money that was approved last year. Part of the federal coronavirus relief funding includes a $300-a-week unemployment supplement. Hutchinson has directed the Department of Workforce Services to end the state's participation in the program June 26th citing businesses in retails, restaurant and other sectors are having difficulty in getting jobs filled.