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Ducey announces nearly $600 million in coronavirus relief funds

Posted at 2:57 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 21:18:54-04

PHOENIX — Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced a new funding plan Wednesday that will provide nearly $600 million in coronavirus relief and recovery dollars to local Arizona governments and nonprofits.

Ducey said as part of the plan, cities, towns and counties that did not receive direct funding from the U.S. Treasury as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will receive a direct allocation of $441 million from the state.

The resources will come from a new fund established by the Governor’s Office, the AZCares Fund, and will be allocated based on 2019 census data. The funds are meant to help local governments to cover regular payroll costs of public health and public safety personnel, freeing up existing local budget capacity to be deployed elsewhere.

In addition, Ducey initiated the Arizona Express Pay Program, streamlining the application process for accessing public assistance from Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). Ducey’s office will provide $150 million, so applicants can receive immediate budget relief, while they await official FEMA reimbursement.

The program is available to local governments, tribal communities, state agencies, nonprofit hospitals, nonprofit long-term care, skilled nursing and assisted living providers, school districts, charter school organizations, and fire districts. The program fast-tracks delivery of resources for eligible projects related to COVID-19 response efforts and will be managed by the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA).