Baltimore City Council acts with urgency on legislation to carry out oversight responsibilities to ensure American Rescue Plan funds are invested, not merely spent
BALTIMORE, MD (Monday, Nov. 1, 2021) – The Baltimore City Council is poised to give final approval at Monday’s meeting to legislation guaranteeing rigorous oversight of the historic $641 million the city will receive under the American Rescue Plan Act.
Acting with urgency, the Council will double read the bill requiring ongoing financial disclosures, key performance indicators to gauge return on investment, quarterly briefings, equity assessments and annual reports. The action follows the administration’s pledge within one week to spend $130 million on public health and violence reduction.
While City Council President Nick J. Mosby said the mayor’s plans are noble, it is the role of the Council as the city’s legislative branch to monitor the disbursement and management of the federal relief funds. To date, the public has received little specifics on how these planned expenditures will result in positive impacts on the lives of our residents and the conditions in our communities.
The bill also meets a resounding call from the Council at its first oversight hearing on Oct. 5. At that time, Vice President Sharon Green Middleton and Chairs Eric T. Costello, Danielle McCray and Robert Stokes were among the members who called for the funds to be used for the expansion and equitable delivery of city services.
Doing so will also produce more jobs for city residents through the millions and millions of dollars the city pays out weekly on government contracts, as guaranteed by the Council’s local hiring bill signed by the mayor in October.
Deputy Director of Communications
Office of City Council President Nick J. Mosby