See more of our coronavirus coverage, including community resources and personal stories.

While Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo is hoping for more federal help to cut a massive budget deficit, state lawmakers are set to share their views Thursday on how to spend $1.25 billion in federal COVID-19 aid.

During a conference call with the state’s congressional delegation on Wednesday, Raimondo lavished praise on the federal representatives for helping to secure money for Rhode Island – and she said she has the power to decide how it gets spent.

“As you heard from Senator Reed and Congressman Cicilline, the intention of the $1.25 billion is to be spent or allocated at the governor’s discretion, according to the emergency needs presented by the crisis,” Raimondo told reporters on the call.

Spokesmen for House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio did not respond to a request for comment.

State lawmakers are accustomed to treating spending as their prerogative, and particular views will become known when the Joint Legislative COVID-19 Emergency Spending Task Force meets at 4 pm Thursday in the House Lounge at the Statehouse.

The meeting, the first by state lawmakers since early March, will be broadcast on Capitol TV.

During her daily briefing, Raimondo listed some of the ways the $1.25 billion in federal COVID-19 aid -- which can not be used to cut budget deficits -- will get spent: nursing homes, hospitals, supplemental pay for low-wage workers, the state Department of Children, Youth and Families, home care, care for the developmentally disabled, public safety, cities and towns, and possibly the state’s hard-hit tourism industry.

Before the pandemic, Rhode Island was facing a $200 million budget deficit that needed to be cleared ahead of the July 1 start of the next fiscal year. Now, although precise figures are not yet available, the state is thought to face deficits of many hundreds of millions of dollars for both the current and next fiscal years, due to how the coronavirus has eviscerated state revenue.

Raimondo said she remains hopeful that the state’s congressional delegation will be able to offer some relief.

“I believe I have a commitment from the delegation that they’re going to fight for a future stimulus that would allow us to be allocated through the budget process,” she said, “because we have a huge deficit over and above the $1.25 billion, and the legislature and I are going to have a Herculean task ahead of us.”