State Auditor Says Governor Reynolds Misused Federal Pandemic Relief Money

DES MOINES, Iowa - State Auditor Rob Sand says Governor Kim Reynolds use of $21 million from the federal CARES Act is "not allowable."

Sand has advised the Governor against her decision to use the money for a new software system, saying it must go toward purposes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

He's asked Reynolds to redirect the money, saying it would otherwise have to be repaid to the federal government.

He said the result would be the loss of $21 million for Iowa taxpayers.

Sand said he's consulted with the U.S. Treasury Office to confirm his conclusions.

The state auditor also stipulated that use of CARES Act money must be used to cover specific costs that are:

  • 1. necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19);
  • 2. not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27,2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government; and
  • 3. incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.

Sand also advised Governor Reynolds against using roughly $450,000 pandemic relief funds on staff salaries, calling the action "questionable."

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