Georgia to receive billions in new COVID-19 relief

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 11:47 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - In downtown Atlanta under the gold dome, the Governor’s office is preparing to receive billions in federal funding for COVID-19 relief.

Attorney Tom Church said the state already received $2.4 billion from the federal government last year and now the second installment totaling $2.4 billion is on its way, more than two years after the pandemic began.

“You already have a state budget surplus,” Church said. “Where is that money going to go? Is it going to go to a rainy-day fund, is it going to go to state agencies? Is it going to go back to the taxpayer?”

Church said the court system in Georgia received approximately $25-million last winter to address a significant backlog of cases. The Governor also announced grants for water and sewer improvements, bonuses for first responders, and refund checks for all Georgians.

“I know that the Department of Corrections, the prison system here in Georgia, is critically understaffed. So, we would hope that a state agency like that would be able to get some of this much needed money,” Church said.

But with the Governor up for re-election in November, Church believes that taxpayers may receive another refund check before it’s all said and done.

“I’m sure there will be an incentive to make sure people see some kind of benefit and at the same time maybe benefit someone politically for giving that money out,” Church said.

CBS46 reached out to the Governor’s office to find out how they intend to spend the federal funding. A spokesperson said they still have $240-million from the first installment to allocate and then they will meet with advisors to determine what to do with the second installment.