MONTGOMERY, Ala. – With just 27 days left until the CARES Act funding deadline, Alabama still has more than $800 million left to spend. But the Alabama Department of Finance Director, Kelly Butler, said he’s confident the money will be spent.
“At this point, I’d say I’m highly confident that we’ll get substantially all the money spent by the deadline,” he said.
While the word spent is floating around, Butler clarified some of the funds will actually be reimbursement payments.
“Including the money that will be paid to local government entities. We established the local government program reimbursement program on May 28,” he said. “Many local governments waited until August and September to send in their reimbursement requests. So we did have a backlog.”
Madison County was one of the counties caught in the backlog.
However, Butler said Madison County’s reimbursement was processed December 2 and the county will see the money soon.
He said all of the counties that request money ahead of the deadline will receive payment, even if the money is processed after the December 30 deadline.
“The Treasury has said that if we have received a reimbursement request. Prior to the deadline, we will have a two to three month period to work out those prior bills,” he said. “As long as they were expenses incurred before December.”
So far the biggest portion of the funds, $300 million was allocated for the Unemployment Trust Fund Transfer program. All of that money has been spent.
However millions of dollars have yet to be.
On two occasions state officials have reassigned unused funding for different categories of need. Butler said he anticipates that happening once more before Decemeber 30.
“Our plans are to, as I’ve said daily evaluate the programs,” he said. “Somewhere around the middle of this month, sort of do a final tally and go back to the legislature and ask for reallocations, so that we can allocate money to things that and programs that might need it.”
As for what the unused money might be used for, Butler said it will likely go towards the unemployment trust fund, healthcare resources, and the state’s new relief grant program.
He anticipates the state can get the CARES Act fund down to about $10 million before December 30.