Mayor: Louisville will Build Back Better, Together, with federal COVID-19 relief package
Mayor Greg Fischer hailed the American Rescue Plan signed today by President Joe Biden, noting that it will provide Louisville Metro Government with an estimated $434.5 million to support the city’s efforts to fight COVID-19 and hasten a robust and equitable economic recovery.
“We are excited about this much-needed funding, which will provide vital investments to help our community eliminate the pandemic’s grip on our city,” the Mayor said. “This funding, paired with our mass vaccination efforts, is essential for the health of our residents, our first-responders, for our businesses, and the future of our city. And, just as critically, it will ensure we don’t just go ‘back to normal,’ but instead will help us create an equitable and prosperous future for all Louisvillians.”
As both Mayor of Louisville and President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Fischer has consistently advocated for direct funding to state and local governments that are on the front lines of battling the COVID-19 pandemic. President Biden included a total of $350 billion in aid for state and local governments in his American Rescue Plan, which was approved by both houses of Congress with the House of Representatives’ vote on Wednesday. The President signed the bill into law this afternoon.
In addition to the funding Metro Government will receive directly, the American Rescue Plan also provides separate funding for public and private efforts to address specific aspects of the pandemic’s impact and to boost recovery efforts. These include funding for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and vaccinations, childcare, rent and utility assistance, community health clinics, non-profits, support for especially hard-hit business sectors, such as restaurants and performance venues, as well as increasing broadband access. The act also provides funding for extended unemployment benefits.
Other local public institutions, including Jefferson County Public Schools, and the University of Louisville, will receive American Rescue Plan funding as well. Kentucky state government will also receive an estimated $2.4 billion.
“These funds provide us with a tremendous opportunity to achieve the goals of our Build Back Better, Together (B3T) initiative, which is about creating a more prosperous and just future for all Louisvillians, particularly those residents who are most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice,” the Mayor said. “That community-driven effort identified targeted investments in equity, economic development, sustainability, housing, transportation, and other critical areas – and it is that community-driven work that will guide our investments and help ensure maximum benefit for the future of our city.”
The Mayor said he expects major areas for funding to center on building human capital, innovation and infrastructure. The city is developing an internal team to efficiently manage the influx of funds and ensure it is allocated in ways that help the city achieve its B3T goals, with input from Metro Council, businesses and residents. The Mayor noted that Louisville also has been selected as part of a cohort of six cities that are working with the Accelerator for America on best practices for managing and implementing the funding.
“I am grateful to President Biden and to the members of the U.S. House and Senate that voted to provide this essential relief so our governments and institutions can continue providing the critical services that the people of Louisville and our entire country need in order to put COVID-19 behind us and move forward,” the Mayor said, adding that the city will provide more information on the local impact of the American Rescue Plan in coming days .
The deadline to spend the American Rescue Plan funds is December 31, 2024.