LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers took back the authority they gave for the state to distribute about $460 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to schools, saying they want the money to go toward teacher bonuses.

The move by the Legislative Council on Thursday faced opposition from Democrats who called it an effort to avoid considering raising teacher salaries while the state sits on a $1.6 billion surplus. It was also criticized by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Democrats are pushing to put teacher raises on the agenda for next month’s special session focused on tax cuts.