St. Louis Board of Aldermen Passes Mayor Tishaura O. Jones’ American Rescue Act Plan Proposal, Restores $5 Million in Direct Financial Assistance to St. Louis Families

The Board of Aldermen voted to restore $5 million in direct financial assistance to St. Louis families negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

July 13, 2021 | 2 min reading time

Today, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted to restore $5 million in direct financial assistance proposed by Mayor Tishaura O. Jones to provide $500 one- time payments, previously removed by President Lewis Reed, to St. Louis families negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The Board already included the large majority of Mayor Jones’ initial $80 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) direct relief proposal and added several key amendments and additions in line with her priorities.

“I’m proud that the St. Louis Board of Aldermen passed my American Rescue Plan Act direct relief proposal to boost vaccination rates, keep families in their homes and improve public safety by addressing the root causes of crime,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “I was grateful to work with Alderman John Collins- Muhammad and many others to restore $5 million in direct financial assistance to thousands of St. Louis residents, which will help families help put food on the table and get them back on their feet.”

Other key amendments include:

  • $5 million for the St. Louis Board of Elections, offered by Alderman Shane Cohn (25), to expand ballot access in the city
  • Behavioral Health Provider funding, offered by Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia (6), doubled funds for diversion programs including clinician-first responder programs and mental health supports for vulnerable populations
  • Services for seniors & people with disabilities, offered by Alderman James Page (5), adding $2 million in funds to the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging for home repair and $1.5 million for direct support care workers.
  • Intergovernmental agreements, offered by Alderwoman Anne Schweitzer (13), with the St. Louis Mental Health Board, St. Louis Public Schools and Bi-State 2 Development to expedite services for youth, including youth-led programming, year-round youth jobs program, and free public transit for young people.
  • A severability clause, offered by Alderman Bret Narayan (24), a standard in nearly every piece of legislation, to shield the funds and overall proposal from legal challenge, which is especially important with federal dollars.

An overview of Mayor Jones’ priorities that passed today:

$6.75 million in public health infrastructure to get people the resources they need and vaccinate them with mobile vaccine clinics and community canvasses, meeting St. Louisans in their neighborhoods and communities

$63 million in direct, urgent economic relief, including housing and utility assistance, support for the unhoused, direct cash assistance, and public benefits navigators to help residents connect with these services

$14.5 million to address the root causes of crime and improve public safety through increased funding for violence intervention programs and youth programming and jobs to keep youth engaged and safe

Earlier today, the Jones administration released a legal memo from the City Counselor highlighting how the President of the Board’s economic corridors proposals fall outside U.S. Treasury guidelines for acceptable use of ARPA funds. Funds allocated outside federal guidelines could be at risk for clawback by the federal government.

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