State officials are in the process of providing counties with a share of $2.4 million to supplement the funds the counties are raising for community developmental disability services and other expenses. The $2.4 million comes from federal economic stimulus dollars.
"We are funding a number of what we call the SB 40 boards across the State of Missouri," said Office of Administration Commissioner Kelvin Simmons in an interview with the Missourinet. "We are given funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – some people know that as stimulus. This money will go towards these boards who have agreed to pretty much tax themselves, in their counties, to basically have an opportunity to receive money for the transportation, career opportunities, job opportunities for those that are disabled and developmentally disabled."
The key to eligibility is an agreement, by individual counties, to tax residents to create a situation in which there is a federal dollar match.
"These counties have agreed to tax themselves at a rate that allows a portion of that money that comes from that tax to go specifically into these organizations that then assist the developmentally disabled," said Simmons. "That is the first part of the requirements for us to be able to deliver the money from the state that comes to us from the Recovery Act."
The first award was made in Jackson County, with several more counties already qualifying and being rewarded with matching dollars, but there is more money available for other counties throughout the state.
"This is a statewide pot of money that will be utilized, that will go across the entire state," said Simmons. "Right now, I believe we’ve got about $2.4 million that will go into that in this fiscal year."
Simmons says the money helps to enhance efforts and programs that might otherwise have been cut as a result of the tough economic times.