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Regional Focus

In the American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law on by President Biden on March 11, St. Louis and St. Louis County were allotted $710 million of federal stimulus funding. Mayor Tishaura Jones created the Stimulus Advisory Board to recommend the best use of the funds for the city. Members of the 25-member advisory board represent organizations ranging from Burns and McDonnell to Missouri Jobs with Justice to The Nature Conservancy in Missouri. BJC’s Dr. Jason Purnell was selected to serve on the board. The Stimulus Advisory Board completed their work, and a new residency board will be named. St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page looks to the County Council to determine the priorities for the County’s $193 million portion of the funding. They have three years to spend the funds.

On July 13, the St. Louis Board of Alderman gave their initial approval for the first round of funding distribution; however, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment did not support the bill. The Board of Estimate and Apportionment consists of the Mayor, Comptroller, and President of the Board of Alderman. Prior to the meeting, the Interim City Counselor released a memo saying that portions of the bill fall outside federal regulations for spending American Rescue Plan Act funds. Comptroller Green and Mayor Jones stated that as fiscal stewards of St. Louis, they could not approve legislation that goes against U.S. Treasury rules that could force St. Louis to pay back millions of dollars in funds. The Aldermen voted to suspend the remainder of the meeting until September 10, when they return from summer recess.

On July 15, St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page signed legislation allowing St. Louis County to receive $193 million in federal funds. As he looks to the County Council for their determination on the spending of the funds, Dr. Page hopes the funds will continue with the same priorities his administration used in spending the $173 million from the CARES Act last year. Priorities include access to health, workforce development expansion, and pay raises for Justice Service staff.

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Page updated 08/25/21

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