Washington, DC (KINY) - Instead of December 30, 2020, how about September 30, 2021?
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Maggie Hassan of North Dakota introduced legislation that extends the period during which States, Indian Tribes, territories, and local governments may use Coronavirus Relief Fund payments allocated by the CARES Act, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
The bill provided $150 billion in total relief. It also provided $8 billion for tribal governments.
Indian Country did not receive the funding until May 5.
Alaska Natives in small, remote villages often travel long distances for healthcare, have limited access to high-speed internet, and many homes lack running water and electricity, making the legislation more urgent, Murkowski said.
"A number of American Indian and Alaska Native communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Spending this funding by the current deadline is an unreasonable task," she added.
Murkowski said local governments need the time and flexibility to put the funding to good use.