Here’s a question

The Anchorage Assembly is geared up to vote tonight on shifting some of the city’s $156 million in federal pandemic aid to first-responders’ payroll accounts, freeing up payroll money for other government spending.

City officials bent on using the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds for that say they got the nod from U.S. Treasury officials, and point to a guidance document, Treasury’s Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidance for State, Territorial, Local and Tribal Governments,” updated as of Sept. 2.

That strikes us as curious. That document says, among myriad other things:

“Funds may not be used to fill shortfalls in government revenue to cover expenditures that would not otherwise qualify under the statute. Although a broad range of uses is allowed, revenue replacement is not a permissible use of Fund payments.”

Revenue replacement is not a permissible use? What would using CARES Act funding to pay first-responders, while freeing up city money normally used for that purpose for other government spending, be called in Assemblyspeak?

If not revenue replacement, what in the world could it be?

Meanwhile, as the city champs at the bit to spend CARES Act money on government, small businesses are choking.

Go figure.

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