Pinal County Drops Threat Of Lawsuit After Coronavirus Relief Funds Released

Published: Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 7:08am
Updated: Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 7:39am

Pinal County has dropped its threat to sue the federal government in an effort to force Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to distribute coronavirus relief funds.

The threat was dropped after Ducey announced Wednesday that he was finally allocating over $400 million to the state’s smaller communities. 

Cities and counties with over 500,000 residents got their share of funding directly from the federal government. The rest of the money was given to the governor to disburse to smaller locales as he saw fit. Pinal County had not yet received any money, so the Pinal County Board of Supervisors threatened a lawsuit, saying the feds gave Ducey too much leeway. 

Board chairman Anthony Smith says he’s grateful the governor finally released the funds — but it’s not enough. 

“The meter is running for us as far as additional cost, and we believe an additional distribution would be very much welcomed,” Smith said.

Ducey is distributing $441 million to the smaller cities and counties — about a quarter of the $1.9 billion pot he controls. Pinal is getting $27 million.

Ducey says the money held back will go toward future needs, including possibly having to replenish the state's fund for unemployment benefits.

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