JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A working group formed at the request of Gov. Mike Parson held its first meeting at the Missouri Capitol on Tuesday.
State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick was asked to head up the group tasked with finding the best ways to use federal relief dollars. Fitzpatrick said federal guidelines require the money be spent on COVID-19 related expenses that occurred after March of this year and anytime through the end of 2020.
Fitzpatrick is a former state legislator and past chairman of the House Budget Committee. The working group serves in an advisory capacity and is not an official legislative committee.
“Ultimately the governor will have to take into consideration all the factors out there including our advice,” Fitzpatrick said.
He said one of his first priorities will be to find the best ways to get those federal dollars to local governments.
“People on the front lines like our health departments, things like that that are dealing with the coronavirus and have costs related to that,” he said.
Fitzpatrick said federal guidelines prohibit states from using the relief dollars to make up for budget shortfalls.
In addition to Fitzpatrick, other members of the Parson-appointed group are: DNR Legislative Liaison Designee Rich Germinder, Missouri Budget Director Dan Haug, State Sen. Lincoln Hough, State Rep. Kip Kendrick, State Sen. Karla May, Public Service Commissioner Ryan Silvey, and State. Rep. David Wood. Dan Burgess, a member of US Senator Roy Blunt’s office, is serving as a contact for the group to get answers on federal policy.
For more information about the working group: https://treasurer.mo.gov/COVID