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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

New Battleground Poll Finds Majority Believe Stimulus “On Track,” Congressional Democrats trusted with “turning the economy around”
The George Washington University Battleground Poll, a bipartisan survey produced by Democratic firm Lake Research Partners and Republican firm Tarrance Group, surveyed 1,007 registered likely voters nationwide July 19-23, 2009 and found:

  • 58 percent of all respondents (52 percent of independents), agree (“strongly” or “somewhat”) that “The economic stimulus legislation passed by Congress is on track, but should be given a year to really make a difference.”
  • 57 percent say their viewpoint comes closer to the statement: “Some people say that our current economic problems were made worse by the mistakes of the Bush administration. The President and Congress moved aggressively and should be given a year to have their solutions really make a difference.”
  • 47 percent believe Congressional Democrats will better handle “turning the economy around.” Only 33 percent respond Congressional Republicans.
  • 48 percent believe Congressional Democrats will better handle “Defending middle class values,” compared to only 35 percent for Congressional Republicans.
  • 49 percent believe Congressional Democrats will better handle “promoting energy independence.” Only 33 percent respond Congressional Republicans. 41 percent of independents responded Congressional Democrats compared to 27 percent for Republicans.
  • More respondents believe Congressional Democrats will better handle “being honest and trustworthy” (38 percent compared to 27 percent for Republicans).
  • 53 percent of respondents agree (“strongly” or “somewhat”) that “Republicans in Congress are blocking change and still supporting Bush policies.”
  • 60 percent of respondents (54 percent of independents), agree (“strongly” or “somewhat”) that “I am optimistic about where I will be financially 5 years from now.”

Boston Globe (Massachusetts) - Effects of stimulus plan kick in
Massachusetts is due to receive $8.7 billion in federal stimulus money over the next two years.

Assembly on the Square received $65 million in all, including $50 million in state transportation funding for road and traffic improvements for the development estimated to create 8,000 construction jobs over the next four years, according to a project outline.

In Everett, stimulus money has been used to save the jobs of dozens of teachers and school counselors. The school district sent out 193 layoff notices in June, but ended up laying off just 24 people, Superintendent Frederick Forestiere said.

“The money is a big help,'' Forestiere said. “We'll be able to maintain status quo. Without it, things would be devastating.'' [Read More]

Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Washington) - WSDOT: Stimulus money paying off in state
In its own report, the Washington state Department of Transportation said work created by stimulus-funded infrastructure projects doubled between May and June. Payroll data from state and local contractors showed 58,000 work hours on transportation projects in June, up from 29,000 in May, according to WSDOT.

The state's data showed 1,811 workers had been hired in June, up from 850 the prior month. Workers earned an average of $38 per hour. The total payroll was $3.89 million from April through June, according to WSDOT's Web site. [Read More]

Business First of Louisville (Kentucky) - State to hire 66 workers with recovery funds
Funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will enable Kentucky's Office of Employment and Training to hire 66 workers.

The additional staff will provide re-employment services at employment and training centers across the state. In particular, they will work with individuals who currently receive unemployment insurance benefits to help them improve their job skills and re-enter the work force. [Read More]

Memphis Commercial Appeal (Tennessee) - Community police grants to fund 37 new officers for Memphis
The Memphis Police Department will be able to hire 37 new police officers with economic stimulus funding, the U.S. Department of Justice and the office of U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., have announced.

The $6.3 million Community Oriented Policing grants will pay all of the salary and benefits of 37 recruits for three years...

… In U.S. Rep. John Tanner's 8th District, Brownsville will be able to hire one new officer; Dyersburg, three; Humboldt, one; Jackson, 10; and Ripley, two.

'Long-term economic recovery and job creation depend on us having thriving, secure neighborhoods where families feel safe living and working,' Tanner said in a statement. [Read More]

The Arkansas Leader - Ward police to get stimulus money
The money, from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus), appropriated about $8.7 million to hire 60 new officers at 16 Arkansas towns.

“This funding will help our state keep and create jobs for our local law-enforcement officers,” said Rep. Marion Berry. “At a time when our police officers are forced to do more with fewer resources, this funding will help support their efforts to keep our communities safe.” [Read More]

The Register-Herald (West Virginia) - W.Va. gets $16.5 million for housing
Money for the housing was provided through the $2.25 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, allowing state finance agencies to resume rental housing projects in all 50 states.

“Not only do we know what having a home means to West Virginia families, but we also recognize that every cent we spend for affordable housing is an investment in our local economics and stronger communities,” [Rep. Nick Rahall, also D-W.Va] said. [Read More]

The Commons - Vermont to receive $8.8 M for renewable energy, efficiency projects
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.)… announced $8,799,600 in recovery funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in Vermont.

 “This federal investment in such a critical sector will create jobs in Vermont, reduce costs for businesses and homeowners and help Vermont reduce its contribution to climate change,” said Rep. Welch, a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. [Read More]

WHSV-TV (Virginia) Valley Company Getting Money to Help Disabled People Find Employment
The funds were made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a portion of which serves as recovery funding directed to the state's vocational rehabilitation system. The projects range from expanding a laundry service operation, to purchasing a multi-passenger van for transporting workers, to creating local community enclaves (small mobile crew of workers with disabilities).

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the rate of unemployment among people with disabilities reached 14.3 percent in June, the highest rate since the government began tracking monthly disability employment data. [Read More]

WISC-TV (Wisconsin) - Beloit Program Trains Young Workers For Green Jobs
… those federal stimulus dollars are the focus of a new program in Beloit that's putting young people to work and saving energy.

Members of a team of five from the Beloit area are called Energy Advocates. They are all between 18 and 24 years old, and their job is teaching others to save energy and money.
The Department of Workforce Development program gives these young workers training for future careers.

DWD is using $158,000 in recovery money to fund the costs and wages of the project.
It didn't cost DeCarlos Nora a dime for his home's energy audit. [Read More]

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