issouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway this week released her first report detailing state government’s use of federal stimulus dollars intended for the COVID-19 response.
In March, Galloway announced that her office would examine the state’s distribution and spending of funding received under the CARES Act and other federal assistance programs recently passed by Congress.
“With an unprecedented amount of taxpayer money coming in from the federal government and then being spent relatively quickly, transparency is vital to help ensure this assistance is used as effectively and efficiently as possible,” Galloway said. “My office is committed to making detailed information available so Missourians know where their money is going.”
The report shows Missouri’s spending of federal assistance for the month of May, as well as the cumulative expenditures since the state began receiving funding in April. Through May 31, Missouri has received $2.43 billion.
The majority of the expenditures were for services through the state’s Medicaid program, MO HealthNet ($216 million), and funding passed through to counties and the City of St. Louis ($521 million).
The state also is currently using $250 million of COVID-19 relief funding for cash management needs in the general revenue fund. The General Assembly has authorized up to $750 million for that purpose; those funds must be repaid to the State Emergency Management Federal Stimulus Fund prior to June 30, 2021.
In addition to the monthly report examining the state’s spending, the auditor’s office also has an online tool to give Missourians a detailed look at expenditures. The COVID-19 Response page at app.auditor.mo.gov/FederalCovidRelief/Index.aspx tracks not only how much is received and expended in relief funds, but also lists which state and local government departments, vendors and expense categories are receiving the most funding. The information on the website, updated daily, provides data on expenditures made after the end of May.
Galloway’s efforts are similar to work by the previous state auditor’s administration, which reviewed the state’s use of funds received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Under Article IV, Section 13 of the Missouri Constitution, the state auditor has a duty to ensure the accuracy of the state’s accounting of its spending.
A copy of the report on Missouri spending of federal assistance can be found at app.auditor.mo.gov/Repository/Press/2020036402242.pdf