Rep. Tina Sablan: PSS should receive CARES Act funds

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DURING the House Special Committee on Federal Assistance and Disaster Related Funding meeting on Monday morning, Rep. Tina Sablan noted that public education was not included in the administration’s CARES Act funding expenditure plan.

The federal law allots $36 million to the Commonwealth in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Those funds could have been used to support distance education, online education, even just a portion of that,” Sablan said. “We still have hundreds of Public School System employees who are owed money for work that they did during the state of emergency.”

She added, “I would really like for us to press on this. They need to get paid.”

Sablan also expressed several other concerns with the administration’s expenditure plan, including the need for documentation or reports that should be provided to the House.

“Under the emergency declaration, the governor has directed Finance and the Office of Management and Budget to submit weekly reports to him on the current state of affairs with our finances. I think we should get those reports,” she said.

She also expressed concerns with overtime funding, noting that this “was a big issue in the last disaster.”

“I think there should be some transparency about that,” she added. “Who is getting it? I think the expenditure plan set aside $10 million, but from what I understand, after Super Typhoon Yutu, the overtime was way over that.”

The House committee discussed all of these concerns in detail, and will meet with the governor’s authorized representative to address these issues.

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