ARPA funding announcement a day before the election, politics or coincidence?
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, who is running for re-election, made two announcements on Monday about the use of COVID relief funds for police and daycare workers.
He said $5.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds would go to providing training and boosting pay and retention of daycare workers.
At a second announcement later in the day, Page announced $23 million had been approved by the county council to match $23 million in appropriations from the Missouri Legislature, for the St. Louis County Police Department.
Some of the money will go toward the St. Louis Fusion Center, an anti-terrorism collaboration between police departments and the FBI. Funding will also go toward improvements to evidence storage and improvements at a police training facility.
“We want our police officers to have the tools and equipment that they need to do their jobs safely and effectively. And that’s what folks in St. Louis County have come to expect,” said Page.
News 4 asked Page’s Republican opponent, Mark Mantovani, about the announcement coming a day before the election.
“It’s a big coincidence,” said Mantovani.
The county council approved the use of ARPA funding on October 25th. Mantovani said waiting till the day before the election to announce the spending suggested desperation by the Page campaign.
“The people of St Louis County are smart enough to recognize these kinds of efforts,” he said.
But Page said politics didn’t play a role in the timing.
“In election cycles there are always cynics,” he said.
Page said it was matter of when the bills were passed and when they had to be signed. Page said he’s required to sign bills into law within two weeks after they’re passed and that he signed some last week and today was the deadline for signed bills passed on October 25th.
“And we’re not going to stop doing good things in St Louis County just because there’s an election around the corner,” said Page.
However, there are no rules about when a politician can schedule a press conference.
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