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Gov. creates new committee to “manage appropriately” $5B in federal money coming to Ark.

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 2:22 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - Gov. Asa Hutchinson is expected to provide a briefing to the media today, discussing various topics of the day. The American Rescue Plan and the state’s opting-out of federal unemployment supplements are among the topics to be addressed.

The governor started the new weekly press briefing talking about the Phizer vaccine being authorized for ages 12-15. To set up a vaccine shot, call the COVID-19 Vaccination Call Center at 1-800-985-6030.

The governor also announced a 14-person American Rescue Plan Steering Committee. The committee will have eight cabinet officials, three members each from the House and Senate.

This group will “manage appropriately” the $5B in federal money coming to Arkansas. The state will get half the money soon, and the other half in roughly a year or two.

Hutchinson said, “We don’t want to spend this money where we don’t have state money to supplement it.

Hutchinson said early suggestions are to spend money on broadband and other capital investments, along with another focus on other humanitarian efforts will be looked at.

The money has to be spent within the guidelines of the Department of Treasury. The state has until December 31, 2024, to spend this money.

On the COVID-19 vaccination update, Arkansas has 47.2% of the adult population vaccinated.

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