Governor Little Holds Relief Fund Briefing | New
BOISE – Idaho Gov. Brad Little held a media availability Thursday to discuss American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and answer questions from the media regarding the current state of affairs. Governor Little began by expressing that the funds that have been provided to the state will be used to continue the growth of infrastructure in Idaho, including water, sewage and high-speed internet.
The federal government had recently passed the bill colloquially known as the Third Stimulus. In this congressional bill, funds were transferred to the state level as well as to the individual to continue to keep the economy moving as it continued to move closer to the one-year mark. of the stock market crash. That day has passed and a large number of people received their stimulus checks by direct deposit as early as last Friday, but more reasonably assumed on March 17.
In addition to funds paid to the citizen, funds have also been distributed to the state for use in response to the current state of COVID-19.
Members of the media asked Governor Little if Idaho really needed the funds after multiple reports that Idaho was in great financial shape and with low unemployment rates. He explained that Idaho received the lowest percentage of federal funds during the pandemic due to its low unemployment rates and its ability to keep the state open during the height of the pandemic. Little’s response echoed the opinion of many, “Rewarding bad behavior discourages good behavior.” He noted that the funds will be beneficial for the state and will give a good boost to education, infrastructure and be a leap forward for the state.
After discussing the benefits of funding, Little was asked what he thought of the fact that Bonneville and Madison counties are currently among the worst regions in the country for COVID-19 positivity rates. Little responded that the four worst regions in Idaho are in the same region – Bonneville, Madison, Jefferson and Bingham counties are the worst in the entire state and he does not rule out the potential of one of the new variants of COVID-19 as the culprit. He noted that Idaho now has the ability to do DNA strand tracing, which it previously could not do, and has been involved in several conference calls surrounding the proximity of the Snake River Valley with of cases reported in Jackson Hole, Wyo. the question with the final thought of self-responsibility, noting that people have been paying attention to the rates of cases in their areas and have responded accordingly – wearing a mask when necessary and avoiding crowds during rates high infection rates.
He thanked people for doing their part to crush the curve and admitted that he never would have believed that nearly half of the state’s counties would be below a 10-case rate if he was told. had said that only two months ago.