Arizona House Democrats urge Gov. Ducey to provide more coronavirus aid
PHOENIX – Arizona House Democrats are calling on Governor Doug Ducey to provide more coronavirus relief to Arizonans by utilizing the $1.6 billion the state received from the CARES Act.
Rep. Aaron Lieberman is one of several state representatives who sent a letter to the Governor requesting he take several actions.
One of the actions calls for increasing the weekly unemployment benefit in Arizona to at least $490 from the current $240 a week benefit.
“Unemployment has been an incredible lifeline, literally to help them stay in their home” Lieberman told KTAR News 92.3 FM Friday. “The notion that they’ll be able to do that, when the state is going to start paying out just $240 dollars a week, which is starting to happen right now, it’s just a nightmare for those folks.”
Arizonans had been receiving a supplemental $300 a week from the federal government. That money lasted 6-weeks and expired Sept. 5.
“The governor should use the CARES Act dollars to increase the unemployment benefit so it can be a real safety net for hard working Arizonans who need it so desperately right now,” said John Balfour, one of the thousands of Arizonans who had to file for unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic .
In the letter, state Democrats also requested more rigorous contact-tracing for coronavirus, funding to schools to cover the cost of PPE and technology, the establishment of a grant program for small business and the establishment of a legislative advisory committee that would work with the governor on COVID-19 related issues.
Liberman claims the Governor has been using Arizona’s CARES Act money to fund day-to-day operations at the Department of Corrections.
“We want to use the CARES act money for what they were intended, which is to fight COVID,” said Liberman.