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ICYMI - WMUR: Top legislative Democrats ask GOFERR chief for transparency on COVID fund

In Case You Missed It, WMUR’s John DiStaso reported that Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy, Senator Lou D’Allesandro, House Democratic Leader Renny Cushing, and former fiscal committee chair Representative Mary Jane Wallner wrote Taylor Caswell, the executive director of the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR), asking him to release the spending reports and disbursements for all agencies and private organizations given CARES Act funds after previously saying they were not publicly available.

Key points:

  • “Since the onset of the pandemic, they wrote, ‘through the dedicated work of our federal delegation, many local businesses and organizations received much-needed financial relief through a variety of federal expenditures, including programs derived from the $1.25 billion in unrestricted CARES Act funds.’”

  • “‘These funds, which were part of the more than $9 billion Congress directed to New Hampshire through the CARES Act, were an essential lifeline for many agencies and organizations -- but unfortunately, there is no way for the public to see how that money was spent.’”

  • “Noting that Gov. Chris Sununu last year assumed sole authority to distribute CARES Act funds through GOFERR, the lawmakers wrote, ‘We are concerned about the lack of transparency from the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery, which is refusing to make public the spending reports and disbursements for all agencies and private organizations that received CARES Act funds. We ask that you make the disbursements publicly available without delay.’”

  • “‘We've recently learned that you will not release the spending reports and disbursements for all agencies and private organizations given CARES Act funds,’ the Democrats wrote. ‘Granite Staters deserve to know how the CARES Act funds -- that were distributed by you and Governor Sununu -- have been spent, and we are asking that GOFERR act quickly to make these reports publicly available.’”

WMUR: Top legislative Democrats ask GOFERR chief for transparency on COVID fund By John DiStaso March 11, 2021

LETTER SENT. The four top Democrats in the state Legislature are asking the executive director of the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR) to make public details of the CARES Act COVID-19 relief expenditures that have been made over the past several months.

Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy, Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, House Democratic Leader Renny Cushing and former fiscal committee chair Rep. Mary Jane Wallner have delivered a letter to Taylor Caswell, asking for reports of disbursements.

Since the onset of the pandemic, they wrote, “through the dedicated work of our federal delegation, many local businesses and organizations received much-needed financial relief through a variety of federal expenditures, including programs derived from the $1.25 billion in unrestricted CARES Act funds.

"These funds, which were part of the more than $9 billion Congress directed to New Hampshire through the CARES Act, were an essential lifeline for many agencies and organizations -- but unfortunately, there is no way for the public to see how that money was spent.”

Noting that Gov. Chris Sununu last year assumed sole authority to distribute CARES Act funds through GOFERR, the lawmakers wrote, “We are concerned about the lack of transparency from the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery, which is refusing to make public the spending reports and disbursements for all agencies and private organizations that received CARES Act funds. We ask that you make the disbursements publicly available without delay.”

The lawmakers say Caswell and the governor’s office have discussed various, fluctuating totals of CARES Act funds that remained.

Last week, Caswell reported to the four lawmakers and other legislators that $25 million remained and had been placed in a reserve account.

“We've recently learned that you will not release the spending reports and disbursements for all agencies and private organizations given CARES Act funds," the Democrats wrote. "Granite Staters deserve to know how the CARES Act funds -- that were distributed by you and Governor Sununu -- have been spent, and we are asking that GOFERR act quickly to make these reports publicly available.”

105 N. State Street
Concord, NH 03301

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