AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN FUNDING
Authorized uses of American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds consist of supporting the public health response, responding to negative economic impacts, infrastructure expenditures for water, sewer and broadband, providing equity based services, replacing public sector revenue losses, and premium pay for essential workers. The ARPA fund dollars allocated to many of the municipalities and towns located in caucus member districts fall short of providing these areas with the assistance needed to fund meaningful infrastructure projects.
MLBC proposes 900 million dollars ($900,000,000.00) of ARPA funds be appropriated to the Cities and Counties.
MLBC requests an additional 600 million dollars ($600,000,000.00) of the State’s ARPA funds be appropriated to the villages, towns, hamlets and small cities with populations of less than 19,000 for water and sewer projects.
MLBC proposes the State create an additional funding mechanism for transportation infrastructure projects located West of the I-55 corridor. We request that an additional one percent (1%) be set aside in the rainy day fund for diversion to the Mississippi Department of Transportation. These additional funds will help the Department realize an increase in funds which has not been accomplished in the past twenty (20) years.
PAY RAISE FOR STATE EMPLOYEES
MLBC proposes a pay raise in the amount of $2,000.00 for all full-time state employees earning less than $29,999.00. Many of these employees were deemed essential during the height of COVID. Unfortunately, they have not received hazard or premium pay.
MLBC requests an appropriation of 2 million dollars ($2,000,000.00) for the Youth Build Program which will be used to train young people in all areas of general construction.
MLBC requests an appropriation in the amount of 10 million dollars ($10,000,000.00) for the Summer Youth Jobs Program currently being administered by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
MLBC requests an appropriation in the amount of 1.5 million dollars ($1,500,000.00) for Nurse LPN on the job training.
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
MLBC requests the Meals on Wheels food distribution program be administered by local churches and local non-profits.
DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH
MLBC proposes Alcohol and Drug Intervention treatment beds be increased and that 1.6 million dollars ($1,600,000.00) be appropriated to the Department of Mental Health for that purpose.