Auditor Galloway calls for emergency relief funding for county governments

April 10, 2020

Columbia, Mo. — Auditor Galloway is calling for Governor Parson to address a looming county and local government financial crisis created by the economic fallout from COVID-19. Before the crisis, the state owed county governments more than $35 million in reimbursements for costs associated with housing and transporting state prisoners in county jails. The cascading impact of lost revenue from the ongoing economic crisis could put county governments even further behind when it comes to holding state prisoners in their jails.

In conversations with county and local officials, Galloway has heard that the backlog of county jail reimbursements is weighing heavily on their budgets. This is becoming even more acute as local governments scramble to address the urgent need for Personal Protective Equipment for personnel. In February, Governor Parson promised county officials that paying this debt was a priority.

“The costs associated with responding to this pandemic are weighing just as heavily on local government budgets as they are on the state’s budget,” said Galloway. “Jefferson City has owed the counties this money for years and it is unacceptable to continue to leave this financial burden on local officials who need to focus their attention on the health and economic needs of their residents. With billions of dollars in emergency relief aid coming, surely Governor Parson can find the money to reimburse local governments for holding and transporting state prisoners.”

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