Pinal County Suing Arizona Over Federal Coronavirus Relief Aid

By Mark Brodie, Harry Croton
Published: Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 8:22am
Updated: Monday, May 18, 2020 - 11:54am
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Pinal County officials say they’re tired of waiting for the state to dole out federal coronavirus relief aid. The Pinal Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Friday to pursue litigation against Arizona.

The federal government allocated nearly $3 billion from the CARES Act to Arizona — but cities and counties with more than 500,000 residents received their portions of that money directly from the feds.

The rest of the money was given to the state to distribute to the smaller counties.

Pinal County sits just below the 500,000 population threshold, and officials there say they haven’t received any of the money yet.

“It has affected every business, every entity within our society. There's not anything that hasn't been touched," County Supervisor Stephen Miller said. "Pinal County is a player — and whether you like that, Maricopa County, and whether you like that, Pima County — we’re here, we’re here to stay, and we’re going to prevail.”

In a letter sent to Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday, Chairman Anthony Smith said: "Our citizens, business owners, food banks and nonprofits watch as those just a few miles away in places like Mesa and Phoenix create multiple assistance programs to help them recover or stay afloat. All the while, because Pinal County fell under the 500,000 population threshold it received zero CARES Act funds! "

Community leaders say dozens of local businesses are in jeopardy without the financial assistance.

Pinal County officials say they haven’t gotten their money, and that their constituents need it now. The complaint could be filed as early as Friday.

The Show spoke with Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer, who explained why a lawsuit is the best option.

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