Your Turn: Stimulus plan helps those in need – Opinion by Jim Carr

Your Turn: Stimulus plan helps those in need

Guest Column by Jim Carr in the Elmira Star-Gazette, March 28, 2021

I read with much interest the article dated March 22 titled “The local impact of the federal stimulus.”

I agree with the mayor of Binghamton when he said, “For capital (uses) the bill (allows for) water projects, sewer projects, broadband projects.” Every city and town needs to use the stimulus money to improve their roads, bridges and infrastructure. Not for tax cuts or creating budget surpluses.

This is the most transformative legislation since the New Deal, which should be used as intended to stimulate our local economy. Resources are being delivered where they are needed to fund jobs and services at the state and local level, because they have had a decade of neglect in the public sector.

The bill encourages investment in our infrastructure and discourages austerity. It includes tax credits for first responders with money going to hard-hit communities that need it most.

The American Rescue Plan, approved by both houses of Congress with no Republican support in the U.S. Senate, and signed into law by President Joe Biden, addresses the health crisis caused by the virus, ensuring access to the vaccine and securing health care resources to adequately respond with the help that’s needed.

It also provides support to state, local governments and schools to begin the process of moving back toward reopening and normalcy as public health conditions will allow.

There is also significant direct economic help directly to Americans in need with an additional $1,400 payment to qualifying individuals, and numerous provisions to help lift the most in need out of poverty while also assisting with health care coverage and other necessary benefits.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 creates new Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to keep first responders, front-line health workers, teachers and other providers of vital services safely on the jobs as states, local governments, tribes and territories roll out vaccines and fight to rebuild Main Street economies.

Jim Carr is a Millport resident.

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