PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS5) — Arizona House Democrats are calling for action and suggesting how Gov. Doug Ducey should spend $1.6 billion in Cares Act money. Rep. Aaron Lieberman said helping unemployed Arizonans needs to be a priority. Right now, Arizonans can only collect up to $240 a week. Lieberman would like to see that number more than doubled.
“We’ve got Cares Act money right now that we could be saying to Arizonans on unemployment ‘Hey, we’ll give you a little bit more to help you get through this tough time,'” said Lieberman.
State democrats are also calling on more funding for schools to help cover the cost of PPE and technology resources. Lieberman said struggling small businesses need more grant money.
“We’re going to have bigger and bigger problems if we’re not doing more to deal with this right now,” said Lieberman. The governor’s office argues that the state has used Cares Act dollars “prudently and responsibly,” using it for critical needs like rental assistance, homeless shelters, programs for seniors and students out of school.
But Lieberman claims $265 million in Cares Act money was used to fund day-to-day operations at the Department of Corrections while the guards didn’t have enough PPE. “They basically took the last quarter of the corrections budget and just covered all the cost with Cares Act funding,” said Lieberman.
The governor’s office said Cares Act funding does allow for health and safety and the DOC is at the forefront of public health.
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