- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2020

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho Gov. Brad Little has ordered the creation of a committee to oversee the state’s $1.25 billion share of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic rescue package approved by Congress last month.

Little’s budget chief, Alex Adams, will head the 14-member committee announced late Tuesday that is responsible for using the money to support businesses, health care providers and struggling families during the pandemic.

“I can assure Idahoans that the federal funds will not be used to create new government programs in Idaho, and we will uphold our Constitutional mandate to provide a long-term, structurally balanced budget for the people of Idaho,” Little said in a statement.

The governor’s office said State Controller Brandon Woolf will report where the money is spent on his agency’s website.

“Transparency in government spending is one of my highest priorities,” Woolf said.

The coronavirus is mainly spread through coughs and sneezes. For most people, it causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

Republican Sen. Steve Bair and Republican Rep. Rick Youngblood, co-chairmen of the Legislature’s powerful budget-setting committee, are on the committee that also includes various state agency heads and representatives.

Representatives from city, county and tribal governments and from the business community are also taking part.

Idaho has 1,210 confirmed virus cases and 15 deaths as of Wednesday morning, according to a Johns Hopkins University.

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