FILE - Arlington, Virginia

Cityscape of Arlington, the second-largest city in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

(The Center Square) – Virginia is distributing another $644.6 million to local governments in its second and final round of CARES Act funding to local governments.

“Virginia was one of the first states to provide such a large share of its federal aid directly to local governments,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement. “We are committed to making sure localities of all sizes get the assistance they need to respond to COVID-19 and keep Virginians safe during these unprecedented times.”

Each locality will receive funding proportional to its population, which will be the same amount they were given in the first round of funding on June 1. Over the course of two rounds, the state’s localities will have received about $1.3 billion of these funds.

The $200.2 million that Fairfax County received directly from the federal government is not included in these numbers.

“Local governments are responsible for spending the money they receive, and we need them to step up and make sure that these federal dollars are going to the right places,” Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne said. “Localities must be able to demonstrate to taxpayers that they are spending these funds wisely.”

Localities can only use this money for necessary expenditures that were not accounted for in the state’s budget that was approved on March 27. The money can only be spent on costs these local governments incur between March 1 and Dec. 30. Governments cannot use the money to offset revenue losses from COVID-19 and the subsequent economic restrictions. Some local and state officials have requested the federal government lift this prohibition in future stimulus packages.

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.