San Antonians say psychological well being, housing, and infrastructure amongst finest methods to spend pandemic aid cash

SAN ANTONIO – As the San Antonio City Council decides how to spend the remaining $ 199.4 million in unallocated money from the American Rescue Plan Act, parishioners have made their wishes known.

In a presentation on Thursday to the council members, the city officials presented the results of the various surveys, town hall meetings and meetings with the Small Business Advocacy Commission from the previous months. Housing, infrastructure and economic development were high on the list of immediate spending priorities for community members, while they said mental health, housing and quality childcare were their preferred long-term investments.

The SBAC listed priorities such as access to capital, such as grants or loans; Capacity building through vocational training and financial literacy; and promoting art and tourism.

The city has been allocated $ 326.9 million in ARPA dollars, half of which it has already received. The other half is expected to be received in May 2022.


The city is allowed to use the money for a variety of purposes, including: balancing budget constraints; pay for the public health response to the pandemic; Payment of bonuses for important employees; and water, sewer and broadband infrastructure works.

The city has already committed $ 97.5 million to fill budget gaps from lost revenue over three fiscal years. Council too Set aside $ 30 million to help people in arrears with their electricity and water bills.

On Thursday, city officials recommended allocating $ 35 million to the city’s COVID-19 response, $ 35.95 million for “immediate” community needs and $ 128.45 million for “effective investment.”


City officials suggested two “premium payment” options for city workers, for the several council members had asked.


Depending on their annual income, the first plan would pay employees a bonus of up to $ 3,000 if they worked on-site in the 12 months between March 2020 and March 2021.

This plan would cost $ 10 million and cover 5,920 eligible employees.

However, City Manager Erik Walsh had employees come up with a second plan that would cover all employees – 11,760 of them – and pay up to $ 2,000, depending on their hire date and annual earnings. This plan would cost $ 14.3 million.

“But from my point of view, I think we should treat everyone equally from the point of view of employees,” said Walsh.

While not all city employees would meet the ARPA guidelines for premium payment, which are intended for those who had to work in person during the pandemic, city employees could justify this by using the “revenue replacement” category.

Some councilors called for a third option that would still cover all 11,760 employees but offer a relatively higher bonus for the 5,920 who had to come to work.


City officials noted that none of the other major Texas cities had yet chosen to use ARPA money for bonuses.


The city council has yet to approve the overall framework for the use of the money. This is expected to happen in a February 3rd vote after the city council made adjustments based on Thursday’s discussion.

Thereafter, the council members will assist through various sub-committees in deciding which programs to fund the ARPA money.

Copyright 2021 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

‘No 70s-style inflation spiral’ says Financial institution of England as a result of households have much less to spend

There will be no return to a 1970s style spiral inflationbecause the wage increases are being eaten up by the rising cost of essential goods, high-ranking Bank of England politicians said.

Some economists have warned that wage increases will go through Labor shortage could create a “wage-price spiral” in which higher wages drive up commodity prices and prompt other workers to demand their own wage increases.

Three of the bank’s most senior figures told Treasury Select Committee MPs that such a scenario – which played out in the late 1970s – is not likely today.

“There is no danger of a wage-price spiral in the UK,” said Michael Saunders, an external member of the bank’s nine-member rate fixing committee. “Talking about a return to the 70s is completely out of place.”

“The economy has changed in many ways since then, and another major change is institutional policymaking with an independent central bank, a clear mandate and an effective set of tools.

However, he said he voted to withdraw some of the bank’s stimulus measures because the labor market was “tight” and average wages had risen.

Mr Saunders was in the minority who voted to tighten monetary policy last week who created money in the financial markets.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said the labor market situation was “very different” from more than four decades ago.

“The collective bargaining position varies a lot,” Bailey said, referring to the sharp decline in the proportion of workers who are union members.

When asked if an inflationary spiral was likely, Mr. Bailey said, “We are very far from the 702, shall we say so.”

Dr. Catherine Mann, another member of the bank’s monetary policy committee, told MPs on Monday that companies may not be able to pass the rising cost of materials and labor on to customers as consumers will not have additional disposable income despite wage increases in some sectors.

“Will consumers spend enough on goods and services if part of their wallet is spent on energy and food? The answer probably isn’t, and so companies can put any cost increase one-on-one on their future prices are questionable.”

The bank has been asked by some analysts to hike rates to cool the economy and lower inflation, but has so far resisted. Any move to hike rates would be controversial as the economy is still smaller than it was before the pandemic and the latest data shows that growth has slowed.

Mr Bailey defended the guidance he had given the bank prior to the bank’s recent interest rate decision. His words had been interpreted as a sign that the bank was ready to raise interest rates. Mr Bailey maintained his claim last month that the bank “must act” if inflation stays above target over time.

The statement was “subject to change” and merely a repetition of the bank’s public mandate to keep inflation close to the target rate of 2 percent.

Mr Bailey said the decision to hold rates was “very close,” but stressed that he never said the bank would raise rates at the meeting.

“As a guide, in terms of emphasizing the primacy of the inflation target and the link to medium-term inflation expectations, I felt it was crucial that we gain a foothold on this point,” he said.

Ford, battery provider to spend $11.Four billion to construct new U.S. vegetation

DETROIT – Ford engine and battery supplier SK Innovation plan to invest more than $ 11.4 billion in new U.S. facilities that will create nearly 11,000 jobs for the production of electric vehicles and batteries.

Ford is building as part of a joint venture with the South Korean company SK. two lithium-ion battery plants in central Kentucky called BlueOvalSK as well as a huge 3,600-acre campus in west Tennessee, the automaker said Monday night. The campus will include another battery plant built with SK, along with a supplier park, recycling center and a new F-series electric truck assembly plant, Ford CEO Jim Farley told CNBC.

The plans are the latest from Ford to increase the development and production of electric vehicles – including batteries – under Farley, who started running the automaker this week a year ago. They also support President Joe Biden’s call to put onshore supply chains in the midst of a company global shortage of semiconductor chips that has turned several industries, including the automotive industry, on their heads.

A battery manufacturing complex that US automaker Ford Motor Co and its South Korean battery partner SK Innovation plan to build in Kentucky and open in 2025 can be seen in an artist version that was released on September 27, 2021.

Ford Motor Co | Handout | via Reuters

The investment is part of Farley’s “Ford +” turnaround plan to make the automaker’s traditional operations more profitable and better position it for emerging sectors such as autonomous, electric and connected vehicles.

“This is the new Ford,” Farley told CNBC during a telephone interview. “It’s time. We’re shoveling in the ground, 11,000 new workers. … It’s a tremendous commitment to build these digital products.”

Ford doesn’t expect to borrow additional debt to fund the plans, Farley said. He said the steps will be funded from the company’s profits.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

The new investment comes in addition to the $ 30 billion The company previously said it would go into electric vehicles by 2025, approximately $ 7 billion of which had already been invested before February.

Production at the plants, apart from one of the battery plants in Kentucky, is slated to begin in 2025, the company said. According to Ford, the second battery plant in Kentucky will go online in 2026.

“Decisive moment”

The “new Ford” is a drastic pivot from Farley’s predecessor Jim Hackett, who had previously told the automaker saw “no advantage” in the production of your own battery cells. It comes as Ford’s Crosstown rival General Motors Spends $ 4.6 billion through a joint venture with LG Chem for battery production from 2023.

Farley said the investment should be further evidence that Ford, believed by many on Wall Street to be lagging behind in electric vehicles, is positioned as the leader in the segment. “I don’t know of any other company that has made this announcement. Why would you ever think that we are behind? We’re up front, ”said Farley.

Ford’s shares have more than doubled since Farley became the automaker’s CEO almost a year ago.

Approximately $ 5.6 billion of Ford’s investment in SK will go to a new campus called Blue Oval City in Stanton, Tennessee, and $ 5.8 billion for the two factories in Glendale, Kentucky. Ford will cover approximately $ 7 billion of the $ 11.4 billion, according to Lisa Drake, Ford’s chief operating officer for North America.

“This is a really crucial moment for us and our country today,” Drake told reporters during a phone call. “We announce the largest single investment in new manufacturing facilities in Ford’s 118-year history.”

The three new plants for BlueOvalSK will give Ford 129 gigawatt hours of US production capacity per year – enough to power 1 million electric vehicles annually, Ford Icials said. That’s more than half of the EV production capacity Ford is expected to have worldwide by 2030.

“This is truly an overwhelming project that underscores Ford’s ambition for the fast growing US electric vehicle industry,” said Yoosuk Kim, global marketing director for SK Innovation, during a call.

New F series is coming

Ford expects the new vehicle manufacturing facility in Tennessee to be carbon neutral once fully operational, including zero-waste processes through to landfill.

Farley said the plant will build new F-series electric pickups. He added that, unlike the pickups, the next generation pickups will be designed solely as electric vehicles upcoming F-150 Lightning which is based on the traditional internal combustion engine pickup.

Ford has started pre-production of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck at a new facility in Dearborn, Michigan.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

“We will build an all-electric, bottom-up, optimized product platform at this facility. It will be the largest facility in our company’s history,” said Farley. “We’re going to be building a lot of fantastic F-Series electric vehicles there. We’re not going to say exactly what type it is.”

Farley said that with this announcement, the company is “reinventing what a pickup truck would be,” including the pallet. Drake said Ford expects a third of the full-size pickups sold in the US will be fully electric by 2030.

Ford’s current F-Series includes the F-150 and larger versions of the full-size truck, as well as medium-duty trucks and chassis for commercial buyers.

Farley and Drake compared the importance of the new EV plants to the mass production of the Model T by company founder Henry Ford, which made vehicles more affordable and accessible to the general public.

Ford previously said it expects at least 40% of its global sales will be electric vehicles by the end of this decade. The goal was announced before the Biden administration set a goal last month for half of all new car sales should be electric vehicles by 2030, including plug-in hybrid models

In addition to manufacturing facilities, Ford plans to invest $ 525 million over the next five years, including $ 90 million in a pilot program in Texas to train skilled technicians to service electric vehicles.

“This is just the beginning of our drive to lead America in sustainable transportation for the next century,” said Drake. “This investment propels us forward to lead the electric revolution.”

The Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s first new fully electric vehicle with a $ 11 billion investment plan in electrified vehicles by 2022.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

Homelessness, psychological well being high residents’ want checklist for find out how to spend COVID-19 reduction cash – The Durango Herald

La Plata County is in no rush to determine how close to $ 11 million can be spent

Micah currently lives on the streets of Durango, where he moved from northern Minnesota three years ago. He said Durango could be the best or the worst, depending on a person’s mindset. He recently took a job as a dishwasher at Steamworks Brewing Co. and said a change in the way he thinks and attitudes has benefited his situation. (Christian Burney / Durango Herald)

When asked how La Plata County should spend nearly $ 11 million in COVID-19 relief funds, two common themes were raised by community members who focused on homelessness and mental health programs.

La Plata County has until 2024 to distribute the federal money made available through the American Rescue Plan Act. On Wednesday, the district administrators set out the guidelines for the money and heard from the public how the money should be spent.

A mix of county residents and community leaders attended the virtual meeting hosted on Zoom, which was recorded and made available online.

Several local residents were interested in using the money to help the homeless population of La Plata County. Community Compassion Outreach’s Donna Mae Baukat wanted to know how quickly funds would be allocated after district officials decided how to distribute it.

Community Compassion Outreach has initiated an application process for funding with the Department of Housing, Baukat said. She expects to know if the application will be accepted approximately 65 days after submitting it.

“So the question is, after the Commissioner has examined all the proposals, how soon, shall we say, our project – if we were to state on an input form that we want federal funding for affordable housing – how soon after your decision? will there be funding and how quickly can we know whether we are eligible or not? ”said Baukat.

About half of the total funding, $ 5.4 million, is already available, said county manager Chuck Stevens, but district officials are in no hurry to spend it and intend to take a methodical, measured approach to decide how the money is distributed.

“Every tip I’ve got from the board is that they want to be very thorough and considered,” said Stevens. “They want to get ideas from the community, they want to be very thoughtful. You don’t feel pressured to make a quick decision. It’s a really mushy answer for you, I get that. I would just say submit your project and recommendation. “

Homelessness was a key issue local residents wanted to address at a county virtual meeting on Wednesday to collect suggestions on how to spend nearly $ 11 million in federal COVID-19 aid. Manna, a soup kitchen on Avenida del Sol 1100, started with its own garden in 2004. The facility provides nutritious meals and support services to those in need, and distributes groceries from 9 am to 11 am daily. (Christian Burney / Durango Herald)

Stevens added that the commissioners and the county government will hold a working meeting towards the end of September to formally consider proposals from the public.

Harrison Wendt, a Durango resident and youth mental health advocate, also asked about the process of helping young homeless populations.

“I see it more and more worrying when our young people become homeless and live on the streets,” said Wendt. “College students who don’t have an apartment live in their cars.”

Wendt wondered how best to call for resources: should local organizations make separate requests, or would it be more effective if they banded together as a coalition to come up with one big proposal?

Stevens and District Spokesman Ted Holteen both responded that a coalition would be more effective and increase their chances of successfully distributing money where it would best serve the homeless populations of Durango and La Plata.

“Coalitions are always great,” said Holteen. “If you are like-minded people trying to express a similar problem when you can achieve this type of organization, it is certainly better to submit one form from one group than submit four forms from different people.”

Wendt also asked if mental health was an area of ​​support. He was concerned that mental health was a wide-ranging issue that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic and that it could be excluded from federal aid.

Stevens assured Wendt that mental health was eligible. He added that homelessness issues, which district officials hear about three to four times a week, are of interest to the committee.

“Mental health problems have been exacerbated by the pandemic, I think that is out of the question,” said Stevens. “I think we can conclusively prove that. So that would definitely be a qualified issue. How can we take this into account and ensure that we survive the audit? That would be for the county, but I’m confident this would be a qualified, eligible expense. “

Kristine Melrose, of rural La Plata County, raised concerns about drug use across the county, saying overdoses and a link to street drugs need to be addressed.

“I’ve been in this county all my life, several generations in this county,” said Melrose. “I’ve attended many, many funerals for people who overdosed in our county. I think this should definitely be addressed with the street drugs that are available to people. And especially for the homeless who come to our country, I feel that it’s not just about mental health, but also about the drugs that are available. I know that ultimately it is their decision to take and ingest or whatever they do, but it is still readily available and that should definitely be addressed, it shouldn’t just be an offense. “

Stevens said he believes the board wholeheartedly approves of Melrose.

The county has until 2026 to spend the money it received through the American bailout plan. Holteen said Wednesday that the board intends to allocate the money to generational projects that will have a far-reaching and lasting impact on as many of the county’s residents as possible.

The residents can submit comments, ideas and suggestions to the municipal council for consideration Online formprovided during the virtual meeting and available on the county website.

Faculties nonetheless have billions of federal Covid aid cash to spend

Posted by Katie Lobosco, CNN

(CNN) – Congress approves more than $ 190 billion to help America’s schools reopen and stay open during the pandemic – and while much of the funding has been used to buy PPE, improve ventilation, and promote summer school programs, billions of dollars remain to be spent.

Many local school authorities have not yet decided how to use the final round of funds released in March. In most states, districts are required to submit an expense plan between mid-August and mid-September, which will be refunded when the money is used.

“I am both compassionate and frustrated with the district’s current spending rate,” said Marguerite Roza, professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and director of the Edunomics Lab research center.

The Covid aid money – which comes from three different laws – is a huge federal investment of roughly six times the core funding for fiscal year 2021. Congress gave schools more than three years to spend the newest and largest round of cash with few conditions. It is unlikely to be spent all at once, especially if used on teacher salaries or capital improvements that are paid over time.

The money should help schools provide safe, personal tuition for all students new challenges to keep kids in the classroom this fall as the delta variant spreads and families await vaccine approval for children under 12.

Schools in Texas have already topped the highest weekly number of Covid cases from last year. A Lack of bus drivers in Chicago, partly because of Resignation due to vaccination mandate, left families in search of transportation. Parents are frustrated and in some places have it Push school councils into heated debate about masks and vaccines, which fuel interest in local elections.

Here’s what we know about what schools are getting and how they are spending it.

How much money do schools get?

Not every school gets the same amount of money. The law tells states to pay out the money like Title I funding, meaning more money goes to districts with more low-income families. Some districts with very low poverty rates do not receive direct Covid aid funding – but may be eligible for some funding at the discretion of the state.

When the pandemic first broke out, the CARES bill approved about $ 13 billion for K-12 schools, or about $ 270 per student. The bill, passed in December, provided roughly $ 54 billion, or $ 1,100 per student, and the latest and greatest package, the American Rescue Plan, saw spending of $ 128 billion, according to an analysis by FutureEd amount to $ 2,600 per student. another non-partisan think tank at Georgetown University.

Schools spent a large portion of the money from the first relief law, passed a year ago, on PPE, cleaning supplies, technology, and learning management systems that helped students study from home, as well as salaries and wages – so a survey by the Association of School Management Officials carried out in February.

How can schools spend the money?

About 20% of the money a district receives goes to dealing with learning losses – this can include tutoring programs, summer schools, or extended school days in the future.

There are few other constraints on funding, however, so it is largely up to local school authorities to decide how to spend it on a wide range of pandemic-related needs.

The law states that it can be spent on things like plumbing, technology, mental health services, and ventilation systems, to name a few. However, it is not certain that all plans will be fully implemented – especially when it comes to hiring more teachers and counselors who may be hard to find.

Districts are required to solicit public contributions on the use of the money, although public relations efforts vary. Many school authorities discussed spending in public meetings throughout the summer. The topic is often referred to on agendas as the Elementary and Middle School Emergency Fund or ESSER.

States are allowed to keep 10% of the Covid education aid and decide how the money is paid out. They had to file an application with the Ministry of Education earlier this year and will receive the last third of the money once it’s approved. The department has 33 approved so far.

Expenditure plans: tutoring, psychological counseling, renovations

The decentralized nature of the US school system makes it difficult to keep track of how exactly the districts spend the money. A recent poll from the School Superintendents Association noted that the majority of districts plan to use the funds for support staff, technology for Internet access, and professional development for educators. Other top priorities are high-intensity tutoring, additional study time through remuneration of staff for longer working hours and the renovation of facilities.

The Detroit Public School District, For example, plans to use Covid aid funds to give teachers a one-time bonus, tutoring, expanding mental health services, making improvements to facilities, and reducing class size by hiring more teachers.

But not every use can be justified. The Illinois State Board of Education recently rejected the plan of a district,o Use Covid aid dollars for an artificial surface on his soccer field.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia company. All rights reserved.

States Have Cash to Spend on Psychological Well being, however It Might Not Final

DENVER – Colorado is known as the Mecca for healthy outdoor types. According to federal surveys, however, a higher proportion of citizens than the national average struggle with mental illness, thoughts of suicide, or heavy drug or alcohol consumption.

The COVID-19 pandemic – with the accompanying job losses, school closings and bereavement – has made the situation worse.

Now, Colorado policymakers are preparing to spend huge spending on mental health and addiction services thanks to the federal COVID-19 aid package from March, the Mammut American Rescue Plan Act.

Legislators voted this spring to spend $ 550 million Colorado received under the Behavioral Health Services Act. There are also grants for services the law provides for the state and emergency funds allocated to Colorado schools that can be used for efforts to improve student mental health.

The additional funds and block grants approved by the legislature alone amount to more than a third of what the state spends each year on behavioral health, said Robert Werthwein, director of the State Office for Behavioral Health.

“Very rarely can you make this kind of investment in behavioral health infrastructure,” he said.

Lawmakers in at least seven other states – Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington – have also allocated billions of dollars to mental health services and drug use, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy, a non-partisan research organization with offices in Washington , DC and Portland, Maine.

Stateline story

State lawmakers are wondering how long the boom will last, flooded with cash

Health officials in these states hope the cash flow will turn things around. They plan to spend it on everything from mental health awareness campaigns to mobile crisis teams and rewards for mental hospital staff.

But there is a catch. After the aid funds have been used up – the money must be spent by the end of 2026 – leaders will have to find other ways to fund programs, services, or staff increases that they are now spending federal funds on.

Heads of state need to make sure they don’t start a successful new program only to get rid of it five years later, said Dr. Brian Hepburn, executive director of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors based in Alexandria, Virginia member organization.

“If it’s just a rash – if it’s only one time and we only see improvement over the next few years, it won’t help very much,” said Hepburn.

Policymakers’ approaches to spending the money vary, said Hemi Tewarson, executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy. In some states, they focus on short-term use of the funds, such as: B. Professional development programs. Other state officials plan to invest in longer-term commitments and work out a sustainable funding plan later, she said.

Colorado lawmakers have taken on the daunting task of devising a plan for how the one-time funds will be spent to transform the state’s behavioral health care system.

“I think everyone is in the place of: We know these are one-time dollars. How can we spend these dollars so that they have a long-term effect? ​​”Said Colorado State Representative Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, a Democrat. “And that’s difficult.”

She is the vice chair of a task force that will make recommendations for spending $ 450 million on the behavioral health insurance fund. The task force started the meeting last month but will not make any decisions until the end of the year.

Right now, members are pondering a variety of mental health and drug use challenges in Colorado, such as accessibility, affordability, and labor shortages. “These things are all on the table,” said Gonzales-Gutierrez.

An inflow of cash

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated some worrying behavioral trends.

According to federal surveys, an increasing number of adults in the United States reported having a mental illness in recent years. After the 2020 pandemic, the proportion of US citizens reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression increased and the number of deaths from overdose increased 31% compared to the previous year.

In Colorado, calls and text messages to the state hotline rose 25% last year. Hospitals have been so inundated with mentally ill children that Colorado Children’s Hospital did one in May Emergency for the mental health of young people.

This spring, lawmakers voted to spend $ 550 million of the $ 3.8 billion in flexible funding Colorado received under the American Rescue Plan Act for mental health and drug use services, of which $ 100 million Dollars were allocated immediately (spent on more than a dozen line items, including prison-based services and staff training) and the rest is due to be allocated later.

Stateline story

State legislators split over the need for federal aid

While democratic support was unanimous, GOP members were divided. In the Senate, for example, 4 out of 15 Republicans voted against the final bill.

“The majority of our group supported the bill,” said Sage Naumann, Republican communications director in the Colorado Senate. “As for the other four, it was most likely a difference in strategy, especially when it comes to things like substance abuse.”

There is a lot of bipartisan support for mental health services in Colorado, he said. “In 80% of the discussions about mental health, substance abuse, suicide prevention and the like, we usually find common ground with our colleagues on the other side.”

Indiana Democratic lawmakers also made behavioral health a priority this year, defying an initial budget that would have cut behavioral health funds by $ 26 million. “We have repeatedly pushed back these cuts and spoken out against these cuts,” said Senator Shelli Yoder, a Democrat and vice-chairman of the minority group.

The conflict ended after President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act, Yoder said. With $ 3 billion in flexible federal funding, the Republican-controlled legislature approved a budget that spent $ 100 million the federal dollar on mental health services.

“We are making record investments in the health and mental health of Hoosier, which is what we need right now,” said Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray during an April press conference on the budget agreement. Bray was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

Shenetha Shepherd, Indiana Senate Press Secretary for the Democrats, said policymakers at the state’s Mental Health and Addiction Department will decide how the $ 100 million will be spent.

The American Rescue Plan Act also approved block grants of $ 3 billion for all states and territories, hundreds of millions more for everything from youth suicide prevention to community clinics, and $ 112 billion for schools. Districts can use the money in a variety of ways, including hiring counselors and strengthening mental health services.

Away from the funding cliff

A task force of 16 Colorado policymakers – advised by a sub-panel of mental health attorneys, hospital officials, and others with a stake in the behavioral health system – is now discussing how to spend the $ 450 million legislature that is being spent in the set aside last session.

Task force members are generally in favor of four investments of $ 100 million rather than thinly spreading the money across many priorities, said Vincent Atchity, chair of the subcommittee. He is President and CEO of Mental Health Colorado, an organization that works to help people with mental illness or addictions.

Mental Health Colorado plans to spend at least $ 165 million to add hospital and psychiatric treatment beds nationwide and improve recovery services. “We have an acute shortage of resources available to properly manage care in terms of inpatient capacity,” he said.

Stateline story

As suicide rates rise, crisis centers expand

Werthwein said that all new editions must be sustainable. “We have to be careful that there is no cliff effect.” The money could perhaps be spent on training staff or on facilities.

Colorado could use Medicaid dollars to pay for new programs over the long term, he suggested. Medicaid is the state health insurance program for low-income and disabled people that is jointly funded by the federal states and the federal government.

Policy makers in other countries could make the same calculation. For example, many states are using their block grants from the American Rescue Plan Act to upgrade and expand behavioral health crisis response teams and call centers, said Hepburn of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. Such increases have been a state priority since the federal government moved to make 988 A nationwide emergency number for suicide and mental health crises from 2022.

States looking to fund crisis services over the long term could learn from Arizona, said Hepburn, which has changed its Medicaid rules in recent years to cover the cost of its expanded crisis services.

It is also possible that state legislators are simply voting to increase spending on services or personnel in the coming years.

In Virginia, for example, Democratic Governor Ralph Northam announced a plan in July to provide $ 485 million – a mix of American Rescue Plan Act funds and state dollars – for rewards for state mental hospital staff, addiction treatment, and supportive care Housing spend Other services.

The Virginia General Assembly urged Northam to commit to adding pay increases for the facility’s staff to its next budget, noted Alison Land, commissioner for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, in a statement emailed.

Yoder, of Indiana, said she hopes the increased spending on mental health and substance use will at least partially pay off by allowing more residents to fully participate in the economy.

“We need every Hoosier who gets involved and participates in business,” she said. “And when people are struggling with an addiction, that’s a big challenge.”

How Waterville ought to spend taxpayer cash

Garbage disposal, water and sanitation, police, fire and emergency services are critical functions of the city administration, and a dynamic leisure department is a bonus, but I don’t expect any of these services to be profitable.

It is commendable that Waterville’s public works division is generating revenue after requiring residents to use prepaid garbage bags. Also kudos to the fire chief, who has been generating income since setting up a collaborative rescue service with Delta. The revenue from the fire department’s emergency services was generated in a decommissioning fund and was originally capped at $ 150,000; The cap has just been raised to $ 300,000 by the city council.

While these funds are not intended to be used as an indicator of the purchase of a new fire truck, ambulance, or other equipment, why should these funds not be included in Waterville’s general fund in the same way as those from garbage bag purchases? The Waterville Police Department did not and should not have a special decommissioning fund of money from parking tickets to justify the new purchases of equipment such as body cameras currently being discussed. These budget decisions should be based on municipal priorities and revenues. Likewise, a municipal swimming pool, walking paths, public parks with playground equipment are not budgetary decisions that depend on whether the leisure department charges usage fees.

As a property owner and taxpayer in Waterville, I want a city government to allocate the money they collect from me, the city departments, the state and federal governments, or the TIFs and bonds, with the community’s contribution and through the annual budget process.

This process should identify and then prioritize what equipment, services, human resources, etc. are needed and when they are needed, whether or not an urban department is generating revenue.

Diane Weinstein


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Weymouth colleges has $6.eight million in CARES Act cash to spend

WEYMOUTH – The Schools Department wants information from the public on how to spend nearly $ 7 million coming to the district through the federal emergency fund for elementary and secondary schools.

The district has so far received nearly $ 700,000 through the fund set up under the CARES Act as part of the Education Stabilization Fund. The district also expects an additional $ 2.9 million grant that will help pay for teaching coaches and interventionists, technology, and a universal all-day kindergarten.

“That’s $ 3 million that we didn’t have last year that we can pour into our current school year with positions that have been on our needs list for years and years,” said School Committee Chair Lisa Belmarsh recently held a school committee meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Brian Smith said the application and spending schedule for the city’s third round of funding – $ 6.8 million – is due in early October. The district plans to run a poll this Friday to get input from the public on how the money will be spent.

Smith said the survey will ask the public to prioritize five “buckets” of how they could be used, including community engagement, educational technology, mental health, operation and maintenance, and incomplete learning. It will also look for information on specific ways to spend the money.

Belmarsh said she cannot stress enough how effective the money will be, as the committee and administration are often looking for cuts rather than providing additional funding.

A student at Academy Avenue Elementary School gives Roary the Wildcat, the school mascot, a poke while he goes to school on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.  Mike Mejia / For The Patriot Ledger

“We now have almost $ 10 million for our schools. That has never happened in Weymouth,” she said.

She said she wants the district to use the money to explore the potential for free, universal preschools.

The city received a total of $ 17 million from the CARES Act in addition to funding for the school district.

Richmond on the lookout for suggestions on methods to spend on line casino cash

RICHMOND, Virginia – The city of Richmond held a virtual public session Wednesday night soliciting feedback on how to spend the $ 25.5 the city would receive from One Casino and Resort if the project was released in November approved by the electorate.

If voters approve the November casino gambling referendum, funds will be sent to Richmond in advance.

Preliminary poll results showed that the majority of respondents hope 70 percent of the money will go to projects in the south, from school-related projects to pedestrian infrastructure projects.

In order to provide feedback, the city a digital survey and mail-in surveys will be sent out through September 6th.

If the project is approved, the casino would be built on Commerce Road near the Philip Morris factory.