The bill – developed with a bipartisan group of mayors, county officials and others – will provide $75 billion over two years to local communities to hold off planned cuts or to hire back workers for local services who have been laid-off because of tight budgets. Funding would go directly to eligible local communities and nonprofit community organizations to decide how best to use the funds.
“The impact of the economic downturn has decreased property values and reduced the ability of county governments to provide essential services,” said Judge Glen Whitley (R), chief executive officer of Tarrant County, Texas and incoming president of the National Association of Counties. “It will probably take longer for counties and other local governments to recover from this recession and this jobs bill is a bridge to get us to a healthy economy. It will help put people back to work and help local governments retain employees and avoid lay-offs.”
The bill also would provide $24 billion to states to help support 250,000 education jobs, put 5,500 law enforcement officers on the beat, and retain, rehire, and hire firefighters.
“In this tough economic climate, it’s important for us to keep local firefighters, police, and teachers at work in the community while easing the burden on local taxpayers and creating new jobs,” said U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME).
The Local Jobs for America Act would also fund approximately 50,000 additional private-sector on-the-job training positions to help local businesses put people back to work. Workers would be able to acquire core job skills and important work experience for private employers.
“Like those in the private sector, our teachers, cops and firefighters have been hard hit by this recession having lost their jobs through no fault of their own,” said U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO). “Now more than ever we need to work together to help get people back to work and rebuild our economy by helping local communities provide the services we depend on each day in addition to other measures like helping small businesses who serve as the engine of prosperity and jobs.”