"As we begin to allocate Recovery Act funds it is important that citizens are kept informed about how their money is being used." -- Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (pictured)
Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced the allocation of $1.6 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to education, public safety and transportation needs in Virginia. He also announced that Chief of Staff Wayne Turnage will lead a working group that, starting today, will evaluate and appropriately route projects submitted on the Stimulus.Virginia.Gov Web site. Once work begins, Virginians will be able to track the spending of recovery funds through a Web site currently being developed by the commonwealth, and expected to launch shortly.
"As we begin to allocate Recovery Act funds it is important that citizens are kept informed about how their money is being used. That's why we launched our Web site last month and why we're making it a priority to continue to be transparent and accountable moving forward," Kaine said. "We all have a stake in our financial future and we will make sure that all Virginians will be able to track how well we're doing."
The $1.6 billion that has been allocated to Virginia so far is targeted at three main areas:
- K-12 Education Allocations -- Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Virginia school systems will receive approximately $730.4 million in fiscal stabilization funds which will be distributed to Virginia school divisions by formula based on the federal law. The commonwealth is also receiving $281.4 million in funding for special education. Localities will also receive a total of $165.3 million for K-12 education through Title I. The U.S. Department of Education has provided preliminary tables estimating each locality's share, and these tables are now available on the Governor's Web site. More information about K-12 education funding from the Act can be found online.
- Public Safety Grants to Localities -- The Bureau of Justice Assistance has released information for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program funding that was made available through the Recovery Act. Virginia and its localities will receive a total of $39.8 million to support local law enforcement in the commonwealth. The funding being distributed to localities will flow through the program's standard allocation procedures. The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program allows states and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and to improve the criminal justice system. More information about public safety funding from the Act can be found online.
- Transportation Infrastructure Funding -- Virginia will receive a total of $694.5 million in highway funding, $118 million of which will be for projects selected by the state's three urban metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in Washington, D.C., Richmond and Hampton Roads. The remaining highway infrastructure investment funding may be used for federally qualifying surface transportation projects selected by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Approximately $116 million will be distributed to transit operators in Virginia. The Act also creates several discretionary grant programs that can help advance transportation projects such as innovative highway projects, intercity and high-speed rail projects, and new transit service expansions. More information about the highway funding from the Act can be found online.
Since the launch of Stimulus.Virginia.Gov on February 10, more than 7,000 proposals have been submitted by citizens, localities and other groups. After the close of business today, suggestions will be sorted by the governor's working group and sent to the appropriate secretariat for evaluation. Secretaries will ensure compliance with applicable federal rules and make recommendations to the governor for which projects to fund. Detailed information on those projects that are chosen will be made available on a Web site that is currently under development.