Thursday, August 04, 2022

State auditor releases monthly report on use of federal COVID-19 funds

(From State Auditor Nicole Galloway)

The latest monthly reports from State Auditor Nicole Galloway detailing state government's use of federal stimulus dollars intended for the COVID-19 response shows Missouri received $7.92 billion between April 2020 and March 2022. 

As the state's financial watchdog, the State Auditor's Office has issued the reports since June 2020 examining Missouri government's distribution and spending of funding received under the federal CARES Act, American Rescue Plan and other federal assistance programs.

The most recent reports shows Missouri's spending of federal assistance for the months of February and March 2022, as well as the cumulative expenditures since the state began receiving funding in April 2020. Through the end of March 2022, the state has spent $5.49 billion in funding made available by the CARES Act and other federal programs, and $699 million in American Rescue Plan funds.

A significant portion of expenditures to date are for services through the state's Medicaid program (MO HealthNet) and other programs receiving federal matching funds. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the federal government increased its percentage share of the cost of the state's Medicaid program. The American Rescue Plan also offered Missouri a temporary increase in the federal funds matching rate in exchange for the state's Medicaid expansion. As of March 31, 2022, the increased cost share for the federal government has totaled $1.6 billion in additional federal funding for Medicaid in Missouri.

Other funding has been provided to local governments, schools, institutions of higher education, child care providers, long-term care facilities and developmental disabilities waiver providers. Funds have also been used for mental health services, purchase of personal protective equipment, virus testing, contact tracing, vaccine preparedness and access, workforce development, economic development programs for small businesses, COVID-19 dedicated personnel costs, emergency rental assistance and other disaster relief purposes.

In addition to the monthly report examining the state's spending, the Auditor's Office also has an online tool to give Missourians a detailed look at expenditures. The COVID-19 Response page tracks not only how much is received and expended in relief funds, but also lists which state and local government departments, vendors and expense categories are receiving the most funding. The information on the website provides data on expenditures and is updated regularly.

Auditor Galloway's efforts are similar to work performed by the previous State Auditor's administration, which reviewed the state's use of funds received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Under Article IV, Section 13 of the Missouri Constitution, the State Auditor has a duty to ensure the accuracy of the state's accounting of its spending.

A copy of the report on Missouri spending of federal CARES Act assistance in February 2022 can be found here. The February 2022 report on the American Rescue Plan spending is here. The CARES Act report for March 2022 can be found here. The March 2022 American Rescue Plan report is here.

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