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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

USA TODAY - White House: Stimulus showered billions on taxpayers

Last winter's economic stimulus law has put billions of dollars into taxpayers' pockets and the economy this spring, the White House plans to say in a report out today from the Council of Economic Advisers.

The report, coming a day before the April 15 tax deadline, says the law has delivered more than $200 billion in tax relief and other direct benefits, mostly to middle- and lower-income families. More than $70 billion was paid in the past three months.

Internal Revenue Service figures show the average tax refund this year is nearly $3,000, or 9.4% larger than last year's.

The surge in tax cuts propelled the stimulus law to its biggest three-month impact. A total of $112 billion in stimulus funds was spent in the first three months of the year, up from $83 billion in the last quarter of 2009. Total spending reached $373 billion, short of the halfway mark for the two-year package. [4/14/10]

Fulton Sun (Missouri) - Federal stimulus spending to create 1,000 summer jobs

Mid-Missouri youngsters seeking a summer job have another source of employment that will provide more than 1,000 temporary summer jobs.

Money to fund the state program comes from federal stimulus funds granted to Missouri as part of the federal Workforce Investment Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

The State Parks Youth Corps is offering paid summer job positions at 85 state parks and historic sites around Missouri.

A variety of park jobs will be available. They include trail building, plant and animal surveying, landscaping and maintenance.

Other jobs for youngsters in the State Parks Youth Corps includes leading tours and educational programs, designing marketing campaigns and assisting in park offices. [4/13/10]

St. Petersburg Times (Florida) - USF prepares to hire workers for electronic medical records initiative

University of South Florida leaders said Tuesday they are ready to use $6 million from the federal stimulus bill to hire 'e-ambassadors' to help doctors convert to using electronic medical records.

Within about three months, USF hopes to make the first of about 100 hires for its PaperFree Florida initiative to modernize daily medical practice.

…the university will train workers to serve doctors much like agricultural extension agents help farmers. These e-ambassadors would educate health professionals about electronic record-keeping systems and aid them in adopting and using the technology.

'It's going to save lives,' said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, who helped secure the funds. 'It's going to save money, since we can squeeze a lot of efficiencies out of the health care system.' [4/14/10]

St. Louis Business Journal (Missouri) - Missouri gets $54M in stimulus to turn around worst schools

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Monday that Missouri will receive $54 million in federal funding to turn around its lowest-achieving schools, particularly 50 struggling schools in St. Louis and Kansas City.

These funds are part of the $3.5 billion that will be made available to states this spring from money set aside in the 2009 budget and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. [4/13/10]

Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) - Stimulus cash to help doctors go electronic

Columbus-area doctors who don't have the time or money to find an electronic medical-records system for their office will soon get help.

…Central Ohio Health Information Exchange will receive $6 million in federal funds to help 1,352 primary-care physicians switch from paper to electronic health records.

Moving to an electronic system is expected to save money by reducing repetition of tests and medical errors, proponents say.

The funds will be used to educate doctors in practices of 10 physicians or fewer about systems on the market, provide technical support and make sure vendors do their jobs. [4/14/10]

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