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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Reuters - Stimulus reaching U.S. states faster than expected-GAO
The U.S. government is sending stimulus money to states faster than it anticipated, defying some claims that it is not acting quickly enough…

The Government Accountability Office report, obtained by Reuters late on Tuesday, says that states and localities are to receive $49 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in fiscal year 2009.

In the four months since the stimulus was passed, the federal government has already paid out 60 percent of that, or $29 billion.

…As states' revenues drop and their spending needs rise, the stimulus has helped them close budget gaps for fiscal years 2009 and 2010, the GAO found. Many of the states the GAO surveyed 'reported they would have had to make further cuts to services and programs without... Recovery Act funds.” [Read More]

Reuters - Obama ready to do more to stem job losses: official
The stimulus plan enacted in February is slowing 'the economic freefall' in the United States, but the federal government stands ready to act further to end the country's job losses, a member of President Barack Obama's budget office will tell Congress on Wednesday.

'The President is not satisfied -- and will not be satisfied -- until we are adding jobs again, providing Americans with the dignity of a job and a dependable income,' Robert Nabors, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, says in prepared testimony obtained by Reuters.

'That's why we will continue to do whatever is necessary to put Americans back to work,' Nabors adds. [Read More]

The Fairfax County Times (Virginia) - Connolly site maps stimulus spending
U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Dist. 11) has placed an interactive map on his official Web site where constituents in Virginia's 11th District can view the funding flowing into the district as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and other legislation.

Currently, the map shows $407 million in federal funding. Money for the district includes: more than $170 million for education and schools; more than $180 million for roads, rail and other transportation improvements; more than $15 million for housing programs; more than $2 million for public safety; $12.8 million for energy efficiency and conservation programs; $1.75 million for health and human services; and other funding for VRE locomotives, buses, dam rehabilitation to prevent flooding, workforce training, and other infrastructure improvements. [Read More]

Cam Verde Bugle (Arizona) - Federal stimulus funds to support new clinic in Cottonwood
A new 6,500-square-foot Community Health Services clinic is coming to Cottonwood, thanks, in part, to a federal stimulus grant.

Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick said, 'Rural Arizonans are being underserved by our current health care system and this sort of investment helps us reduce our costs and improve our quality of care.'

Kirkpatrick announced Monday that the Yavapai County facility would receive $585,160 in stimulus funds. That will be matched with the same amount from each of the other two partners, equaling $1.7 million for the construction. [Read More]

KUSA-TV (Colorado) Summer stimulus creates jobs for disadvantaged youths
…The multi-billion dollar stimulus is also going to put an estimated 1 million disadvantaged youths to work.

Of the $1.2 billion dedicated for the summer work program, Colorado will get more than $11 million to put youths - up to age 24 - to work. [Read More]

Charlotte Sun (Florida) - Federal Funds Offer Job Training
Anxiety is a word 37-year-old Amy Skerlec has come to know all too well, especially during the past two years.

But in May, a light at the end of the tunnel appeared.

A financial assistance employee told Skerlec about a new program called Rapid Recovery, which is being offered through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Through the program, displaced and underemployed workers can go back to school for training in areas of great need, including health care, business, technology, public service and education. If accepted, a person could have their tuition, books, lab fees and required uniforms paid for during the duration of a program. [Read More]

The Telegraph (Georgia) - Ask the CPAs: Stimulus bill provides tax breaks for many people
QUESTION: I have been hearing a lot about new tax breaks from almost all my friends and neighbors. Since what I have heard seems almost too good to be true, I wanted to ask the CPAs to be sure I get the facts straight. Please tell me about these new tax breaks so I can jump on them.

ANSWER: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, generally known as the “stimulus bill,” provides many new tax breaks as well as significant enhancements to existing deductions and credits. The stimulus bill and other recent legislation have resulted in more than five hundred tax law changes giving taxpayers an unprecedented opportunity to improve their life, take care of their family and reduce their income taxes at the same time. [Read More]

Radio Iowa - State receives $32 million in federal weatherization money
The state has received another big chunk of federal economic recovery funds to help expand the program that improves the energy efficiency of the homes of low-income Iowans. Jim Newton oversees the weatherization program, and says the federal money will dramatically increase the number of homes involved.

Newton says they normally do about 2,000 homes a year, and with these funds they'll do over 7,200 homes in a two-and-a-half year period.

The state will receive another $40-million for the program once the state shows it has met federal guidelines. The program is available to families making up to 200% of the federal poverty level, or about $44,000 a year for a family of four. [Read More]

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