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Still some unanswered questions on rules for use of American Rescue Act money

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As the 2021 Legislature heads toward its final weeks, there is a big unknown.

And that is – what are the rules for using federal coronavirus relief dollars from the American Rescue package?

Legislative leaders know the amount the state will be receiving – but don’t yet know what the money can be used for.

"I don't know if we're going to have that by the time we get out of here," said House Majority Leader Chet Pollert (R-Carrington).

Pollert says half of the money is supposed to be coming soon, and the other half is later.

"I think it can be allocated over until the year 2024," Pollert said. "I want to make sure we have the right guidelines. We don't have those yet."

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) said some decisions on allocating those federal dollars could be made when lawmakers come back to Bismarck for its redistricting session in December.

"What I envision is during the interim , between now and December, the appropriations people may be actively working from time to time on that federal money," Wardner said.

North Dakota will be receiving $1.36 billion from the American Rescue Act.

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