How Has Kentucky Spent COVID Relief Funds? Auditor Harmon goes in depth; Madison County/Richmond in top ten for spending

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Wednesday, Auditor Mike Harmon’s office released a data bulletin that focuses on how the Commonwealth of Kentucky spent Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) provided through the federal CARES Act. The data bulletin details information provided by the Office of the State Budget Director (OSBD) on how $1.732 billion in CRF allotted to Kentucky has been used through March 31, 2021.

Of the $1.732 billion, Kentucky received $1.599 billion, and $133 million was directed to Louisville Metro Government.  Through the end of March 2021, Kentucky reported spending $1.449 billion with $150 million remaining. According to the state budget director, the Governor and the Executive Branch determined where Kentucky’s CRF dollars would be spent because the General Assembly was not in session at the time the funding was received.

Based on the information given to auditors by OSBD, these were the top spending categories for CRF funds:

The data bulletin also contains information on expenditures by counties and cities, which account for 21 percent of the coronavirus relief fund spending, or $311 million as provided to Auditor Harmon’s office by the Department for Local Government.  Of that, $178.9 million has been spent by county governments, and $132 million spent by cities. The data bulletin appendices provide more detail as to how local governments spent these funds.  The following charts detail the top 10 counties, and top 10 cities for spending:

“While the data our auditors compiled does give the public a view into how our Commonwealth reported spending coronavirus relief funds, my office will continue to ask questions and do our part to independently audit these funds,” Auditor Harmon said.  “It is particularly important to have an independent review of these expenditures because the funds were not appropriated by the General Assembly through the normal budgetary process.”