How Oregon spent 1.6B in CARES Act funds

Remember that stimulus check you got last year?

Maybe you spent the $1,200 – or more if you have kids – on rent, groceries or gas. Maybe you paid medical bills, splurged on takeout for your family or saved it for a post-pandemic vacation.

Your city and county and the state of Oregon got something similar: cash from the federal government. In March 2020, as the pandemic was taking hold, Congress approved $2 trillion in spending to respond to the pandemic through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES Act.

The state of Oregon received $1.6 billion in relief funds meant to keep the wheels of state and local government turning, from the concrete slabs of Salem City Hall to the vast sagebrush expanses of Harney County.