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Treasury: Arizona risks relief funds over anti-mandate rules

Arizona has 60 days to remove the anti-masking provisions before the federal government moves to recover the relief money.

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is threatening to recoup COVID-19 relief funds sent to Arizona over state provisions it says discourage families and school districts from following federal guidance recommending face coverings in schools. 

At issue are two state programs that are meant to help schools and students but that direct funding away from jurisdictions with mask requirements. 

The Treasury Department warned in a Friday letter that Arizona has 60 days to remove the anti-masking provisions before the federal government moves to recover the relief money. 

It also threatens to withhold the next tranche of aid. Arizona has received about half of the $4.2 billion awarded to it under the 2021 coronavirus relief bill.

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