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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The Cincinnati Enquirer (Ohio) - Biden defends fed stimulus
Vice President Joe Biden today defended the $787 billion federal stimulus against critics who say it isn't creating jobs.

'When they say we're not saving jobs, count the cop that still has a job, count the teacher that will be showing up in the classroom in September who would not be able to show up but for this,' he said during a speech this morning at a redevelopment project on Spring Grove Avenue in Northside. 'These are all essential services affecting the quality of life of our children and our families.”

About 200 people gathered behind the former American Can company building to hear Biden speak.

The abandoned red brick factory is marked by graffiti. Weeds have overtaken the grounds. City officials, though, have said that $1.6 million in stimulus money will help developers transform this site into a hub of activity for the Northside neighborhood as developers remodel it into apartments and retail.

Biden said the factory project would create 100 jobs. [Read More]

Business Week - Report: Stimulus helps create 14,200 summer jobs
President Barack Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus package will help put 14,200 teens and young adults to work this summer in Ohio, and most of the stimulus-funded highway projects in the state are reaching economically distressed areas, according to a federal report released Wednesday.

All but one of the state's highway projects are scheduled to be completed within three years. Ohio, where the unemployment rate has jumped to 10.8 percent, the highest in more than a quarter century, expects to get $8.2 billion in stimulus money over the next three years.

Ohio has selected 210 transportation projects to get stimulus money, and 194 of them are located in economically distressed counties, the GAO said. [Read More]

The Plain Dealer (Ohio) - Ohio's stimulus money saves Medicaid from cuts, Government Accountability Office says
Stimulus funds have already plugged Ohio budget deficits and kept the state from cutting health services for poor women and children and other key programs, according to a new government report.

In fact, the state has been able to absorb nearly 200,000 more women and children onto its Medicaid roll because of stimulus funding, the Government Accountability Office said Wednesday.

The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, is charged with tracking stimulus spending in 16 states and Washington, D.C., which will receive two-thirds of the stimulus funds. Ohio is to receive a total of $8.2 billion over three years, including money to be spent on highway and other infrastructure projects.

And overall, the GAO found that stimulus funds are being released faster to states than the agency had anticipated.

[House Minority Leader John] Boehner, however, was forced to retract a statement Sunday in which he claimed Ohio hadn't let a single infrastructure project. [Read More]

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - 58 state road projects awarded contracts
Fifty-eight Arkansas road construction projects totaling $105 million have been awarded contracts with federal stimulus money, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said Wednesday.

Altogether, the department has identified 111 'shovel-ready' projects costing an estimated $465 million and stretching 241 miles. The department is expecting $315 million in stimulus money, with other aid expected to account for the difference, officials said. [Read More]

Michigan Messenger - Approval and use of stimulus funds increasing in Michigan
A new Government Accountability Office report (PDF) shows that $421 million of those funds are now obligated and approved for specific projects, 49.7 percent of the total allocated funds.

The study also notes that some projects in Michigan were chosen in order to get the money allocated and spent, and thus creating jobs, as quickly as possible… [Read More]

Long Island Press (New York) - New Terminal For Fire Island Ferry in Patchogue
Federal officials say a new Fire Island ferry terminal will open by Jan. 1.

The $4.6-million terminal in Patchogue has been in the planning stages for years.

These funds come from more than $10 million in federal investments allocated to improve Patchogue, including $6.3 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“This funding will create jobs and promote economic growth in Patchogue while improving access for tourists and boaters to the natural beauty of Fire Island and the surrounding waterways,” said [Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton)]. [Read More]

Houston Business Journal (Texas) - Texas awarded economic recovery funds for water infrastructure projects
The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $160 million worth of stimulus funds to the Texas Water Development Board to help finance the cost of replacing aging water infrastructure in the state.

EPA officials say this new infusion of money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will help state and local governments invest in a number of overdue water projects that officials say are essential to protecting public health and the environment. The funds should also help boost the economy and create jobs, two of the qualifications for receiving stimulus funding. [Read More]

The Oklahoman - Oklahoma commission extends unemployment aid
As many as 9,300 Oklahomans will be immediately affected by the extension, the commission said.

'To the extent ARRA 2009 will help states continue to provide at least some income to downsized workers, it will help the overall economy not only by allowing unemployed individuals to maintain some level of spending while job seeking, but also by forestalling their use of savings accounts, retirement savings or additional borrowing via credit cards or home equity loans,” [Keith Hazelton, senior vice president and director of economic research at the Oklahoma Bankers Association.] said. [Read More]

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