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Fitzpatrick leading working group analyzing federal coronavirus relief money


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick will lead an “informal” working group tasked with analyzing and making recommendations regarding federal relief money earmarked for Missouri, Gov. Mike Parson said. 

Parson announced the formation of the group on Friday, the same day he signed the massive supplemental budget passed by the General Assembly this week. The $6.2 billion package provides sweeping relief — mostly in federal aid — to mitigate the ramifications of coronavirus

Fitzpatrick, a fellow Republican, was tapped to lead the group and will work with the Office of Administration, the Governor’s Office, legislative budget members, and Missouri’s Congressional Delegation, according to a news release. 

The governor touted Fitzpatrick’s background as a small business owner as providing a foundation to understanding how the global health crisis is impacting Missouri workers. 

Gov. Mike Parson said he signed the massive supplemental budget bill on April 10 after lawmakers briefly convened in Jefferson City earlier in the week. (OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR)

The group will analyze the relief provided under the federal CARES Act and make recommendations as to how best to utilize the money. 

“We want to make sure every dollar counts for Missourians,” Parson said during his daily briefing. 

Fitzpatrick said he will work to find a balance between “eliminating costly red tape and still ensuring proper oversight for the money” as Missouri receives it. 

“It’s in the best interests of the state and its citizens to identify best practices and procedures for ensuring we all get the maximum relief and benefits available under the CARES Act,” Fitzpatrick said. “As we all adapt and respond to these unprecedented times, we need to make sure these dollars are put to work and put to work in the best way for Missouri to get back on its feet, put the economy back to work, and get Missouri families moving forward again.” 

More than 91,000 initial unemployment claims were made last week — and nearly 77,000 of those were related to COVID-19, according to the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR). The previous week saw more than 104,000 claims, including about 89,000 related to coronavirus. 

Since early March, at least 3,799 Missourians have tested positive for coronavirus, and 96 people have died.  

EDITOR’S NOTE: For up-to-date information on coronavirus, check with the CDC and DHSS.