Jackson County, Mo. legislators announce funding for social services

(Photo Courtesy: MGN-online / Image: Pixabay)
(Photo Courtesy: MGN-online / Image: Pixabay)(Source: Pixabay via MGN)
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 1:28 PM CST
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JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. (KCTV) - Jackson County, Missouri, legislators have announced that $2 million in funding has been approved for social service programs, including those for fighting the fentanyl epidemic and assisting the unhoused.

The news was announced at a Thursday morning press conference at the Kansas City Courthouse. The funding itself was approved during the legislature’s regular meeting that took place on Jan. 30.

According to a press release, University Health will receive $1 million to fund “ongoing efforts to fight the fentanyl and opioid epidemic.”

“The remaining $1 million will be divided between Samuel Rodgers Health Center, Heartland Center for Behavioral Health, Mattie Rhodes Center, and Footprints Inc. - to support countywide behavioral health and drug rehabilitation services, and programs to assist the homeless population,” the press release continues.

In addition, the legislature moved $74 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to an undesignated fund account. That is meant to give “them more involvement in how those dollars are spent.”

“Priorities are set in the budgeting process,” said Budget Chair Manny Abarca. “We prioritized saving lives in the first three weeks on the job.”

“This new legislature didn’t squander the chance to make a generational impact with this budget,” Vice Chair Megan Marshall said. “Sticking with the status quo is easy, we chose to do what was hard.”

The legislature said they held three public meetings last week to give residents a chance to provide input regarding community priorities before the annual budget was approved. Those public meetings were held “in an effort to ensure transparency and accountability of tax dollars.”

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