Photos/Video: Kaine and Mayor Stoney Discuss How Richmond Will Benefit From American Rescue Plan, Build Back Better Agenda
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine met with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney to discuss how Richmond will use funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) that Kaine pushed to pass in Congress earlier this year. During the meeting, Mayor Stoney briefed Senator Kaine on the draft plan for Richmond’s ARP funding. This comes as Mayor Stoney will introduce the final version of Richmond’s plan to use ARP funding to City Council on Monday, prior to a scheduled vote on the plan on October 25th. Kaine also briefed Mayor Stoney on how Richmonders will benefit from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Build Back Better bill, two economic development packages he’s working to pass in Congress this month.
“I was very glad to hear more about how Richmond will put the funds we passed in the American Rescue Plan to good use. I am grateful to Mayor Stoney for his partnership as we work together on the federal and local levels to ensure this transformative COVID relief package delivers for Richmonders. I look forward to the approval of Mayor Stoney and Richmond City Council’s final plan for the funding in the coming weeks,” said Senator Kaine. “The American Rescue Plan combined with the two economic development packages that I am working to pass in Congress this month— the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Build Back Better bill — will continue to help Virginia build back better by creating millions of jobs, fixing our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, addressing climate change, cutting taxes for workers and families, and lowering costs for middle and low-income American families.”
“I’m grateful to Senator Kaine for his support and advocacy for the City of Richmond, which received $155 million in American Rescue Plan funding to address critical needs and make historic investments in our communities, children and families. These investments will not only help us recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, but also will enable us to build back better and stronger by expanding affordable housing, supporting health equity, improving public safety and building new parks and neighborhood facilities that transform community centers into full-service opportunity centers capable of meeting the needs of our residents where they live,” said Mayor Stoney. “The City of Richmond is fortunate to have strong federal partnerships and representation by Senator Kaine in Washington, and we look forward to future progress and investment in our city upon the successful passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Build Back Better bill.”
The American Rescue Plan provided Richmond with nearly $155 million in flexible COVID relief and Richmond City Public Schools with $122.8 million, including $65 million that the school board voted to spend towards a three-year literacy plan with a goal for all Richmond students to be reading on grade level.
Mayor Stoney has proposed to use American Rescue Plan funds for Richmond the following way:
- $32.3 million for affordable housing – including for Creighton Court Redevelopment project and Highland Grove Redevelopment.
- $5 million for a Health Equity Fund, which will support vaccinations, mental and behavioral health, access to care and health education, food access and security, maternal and infant health, as well as care for substance abuse disorder and underlying health conditions.
- $80 million to invest in Richmond’s children and families – including funding for child care and community centers like the TB Smith Community Center, Southside Community Center, Calhoun Center, and a new center on the current site of Lucks Field. This funding will help these centers provide Richmonders access to financial and housing assistance and benefits, senior services, food, health care, wellness education, youth programming and job training.
- $5.9 million for economic development – including $1 million for workforce development.
- $23.3 million to plan for and address the impacts of the climate crisis on Richmond.
- $8.5 million for public safety – including $1.5 million for gun violence prevention and $5 million for first responder bonuses.
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which passed the Senate and awaits action in the House, includes the following wins to communities across the Commonwealth and Richmond to maintain our roads, bridges, rail systems, and other critical infrastructure needs:
- $7 billion for Virginia highways and $537 million for Virginia bridge replacement and repairs over five years.
- Senator Kaine is pushing for funding to support rehabilitating the Mayo Bridge in Richmond.
- An estimated $1.2 billion over five years to improve public transportation in Virginia.
- $66 billion in passenger rail nationwide, which help Virginia fund current projects announced with CSX, Norfolk Southern, Amtrak, and VRE — such as the $1.9 billion Long Bridge project that both Senators Warner and Kaine supported by successfully passing their Long Bridge Act of 2020 as part of the FY21 Omnibus. The legislation allowed for the construction of a new Long Bridge across the Potomac River to double the capacity of rail crossing between Virginia and DC, but still required federal funding to move forward. Easing the Long Bridge bottleneck directly supports Governor Northam’s Transforming Rail in Virginia Initiative, which recently led to expanded rail service at Richmond’s Main Street Station.
- $25 billion to improve our nation’s airports including runways, gates, terminals, and concessions— including at the Richmond International Airport.
- At least $100 million to expand broadband across the Commonwealth, including providing access to the at least 473,000 Virginians who currently lack it.
The draft framework of the Build Back Better bill, which is still under negotiation, proposes to deliver the following wins for Virginia families:
- Establishes Universal Pre-K for 3 and 4 year olds and a new child care benefit for working families.
- Extends the largest tax cut ever for families with children.
- Invests in job training programs to connect workers to good-paying jobs.
- Reduces prescription drug costs for patients and saves taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.