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Most members of a 12-person legislative panel were at the Statehouse for the meeting. A few others, and the state officials testifying, appeared by video links. All of those present at the Capitol wore masks and kept a distance from their colleagues.

The respective chairman of the House and Senate Finance committees, Rep. Marvin Abney (D-Newport) and William Conley (D-East Providence) said the meeting of the task force on emergency coronavirus spending was meant to foster oversight and transparency.

Department of Administration head Brett Smiley was asked about how quickly the state will use its allotment of federal aid. Smiley says the answer to that will be forthcoming.

“Up until now, everyone has been working as hard and as fast as possible to procure the necessary PPE, to just get a day ahead of the crisis," Smiley said. "But now that we’re in this plateau, as the governor’s been describing it, and looking towards the next phase, we’re able to see around the bend a little bit.”

The state has received more than $1.5 billion in federal aid. Of that amount, about $9 million has been spent, and $147 million has been reserved for spending.

Quonset Development Corporation managing director Steven King has led the state’s effort to get personal protective equipment, or PPE.

King said the supply chain was extremely strained and that only one out of every 200 leads worked out.

King said many of the sales pitches for PPE were based on lies.

“We’ve had people that offered us 3M-quality respirator masks," he said. "We talked to 3M early on in this process and were told directly by senior vice president at 3M that the product wasn’t available. And it was good advice they gave us to tell us that if we had offers of these products, they were a scam.”

The legislative task force marked the first appearance of lawmakers at the Statehouse since early March. The full General Assembly hasn't met in more than a month.

Gov. Gina Raimondo has said she has the discretion to determine how the emergency money if spent, while also pledging to consult with lawmakers.