The $787 billion federal stimulus package, recently signed into law by President Obama, presents a number of exciting opportunities for Lexington to create jobs and make public improvements. Last month, as part of the "Lexington At Work" stimulus initiative, I established the Mayor's Commission on the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, a group of local citizens and city officials who are focused on making sure our community takes full advantage of the financial assistance available to strengthen cities. I have asked the Commission to provide recommendations on how any available funds should be spent, monitor the expenditure of the funds to ensure transparency and accountability for the optimum public benefit and develop means by which the public can access information about the status of local projects.
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a meeting at the White House with President Obama, Vice President Biden and various members of his Cabinet. We met directly with the President and his staff about how the stimulus package will work. We are monitoring the information that emerges daily from Washington and working with Governor Beshear, who is coordinating the state's efforts through his "Kentucky At Work" initiative. Our common goal is to ensure that we help Kentuckians survive the current economic crisis, and that we use the stimulus funds to strengthen our state and our cities so that we are prepared to take full advantage of the economic recovery.
Locally, citizens can learn more by attending or watching Commission meetings, scheduled at 3 p.m. each Friday. Meetings will be broadcast live over Cable Channel 3 and will stream live over the internet at www.lexingtonky.gov.
Statewide, the Governor expects Kentucky will receive $3.2 billion overall from the stimulus bill over the next 28 months, including:
- Medicaid: $990 million
- Health and welfare: $272 million
- Education: $924 million
- Job training: $66 million
- Public safety: $30 million
- Roads and bridges: $421 million
- Transit: $50 million
- Water and sewer lines: $71 million
- Community Development: $12 million
- Energy: $63 million
- General Fund: $120 million
Additionally, there will be opportunities to compete for other grants in a wide variety of areas and Kentuckians will benefit from tax cuts, credits and other incentives that are part of the stimulus.
I am always interested in your ideas and questions. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Newberry, Mayor