Updated: Jan 27
On December 30, the Sacramento Board of Supervisors held a special meeting to determine how the remaining CARES Act funds would be deployed. County BOS has been talking at length about what to do with the funds before the deadline. They discussed two pots of money that the Public Health Department could draw funds from for COVID relief assistance: one with $14 million, and another with $8.8 million.
The $14 million fund is being used staffing, operations, and outreach responses for COVID as directed during the previous meeting. The information provided by Public Health Officer Dr. Kasirye at this meeting was simply an update on how the money is being spent. Peters and Frosty Sue had a lot to say about their concerns on how the money was being spent, but since the presentation was only educational, no actions were taken based on their comments.
The second pot of money for $8.8 million needed to be spent by December 31, but had not yet been allocated. Dr. Kasirye recommended that most of these unused funds go to COVID testing, and that a small portion go to supporting restaurants. The Board questioned why so much of the funds were suggested to go towards testing - and they recommended other areas to spend the money. Dr. Kasirye indicated that some of the money could be diverted away from testing.
The final breakdown was:
$1million for food programs to cover expenses for restaurants to provide food for families and homeless persons in need of meal assistance
$1 million for the Latino Economic Council to provide direct services and small business assistance
$1 million for child care services to support childcare providers and/or parents; this provides for supporting 9,697 children with subsidized child care
$5.8 million for COVID-19 testing to continue testing for the community sites, behavioral health and long-term care facilities
We will continue monitoring the allocation of funds used to support the pandemic response, and insisting on transparency and equity in decision-making surrounding the distribution of money. Stay tuned!