Friday, April 24, 2009

IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON IOWA

This from The White House today:

Working Families:


Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $600 million back in the pockets of more than 1.1 million hard-working Iowa families.

$18,120,842 to support child care for working families.

Energy:

$21,103,000 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.

$80,834,411 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.

$40,546,000 to the State Energy Program, available for rebates to consumers for energy saving improvements; development of renewable energy projects; promotion of Energy Star products; efficiency upgrades for state and local government buildings; and other innovative state efforts to help save families money on their energy bills.

Education:


$682,859,389 potentially available to Iowa to lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help save thousands of teaching jobs at risk due to state and local budget cuts.

Health Care:


$1,300,000 to fund a new Community Health Center, which will serve an estimated 7,950 patients and create a projected 60 jobs.

$3,175,923 to expand services at 13 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 17,988 patients and create or save a projected 84 jobs.

$1,033,962 to provide meals to low-income seniors.

$89,098,176 made available in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to protect health care for the families hit hard by the economic crisis and some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.

$2,173,252 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.

Transportation:


$357,722,231 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.

$36,483,617 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.

$84,000 to address airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.

Law Enforcement:


More than $18.7 million for state and local law enforcement assistance available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. The JAG Program supports a variety of efforts such as hiring and support for law enforcement officers; multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces; crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives.


REAL RESULTS IN IOWA


Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.

Stimulus Package Will Allow The State Of Iowa To Offer Health Insurance To All Children In Families Earning Up To Three Times The Federal Poverty Level. KAALTV reported, “Iowa is now one step closer to offering health care to all children thanks to President Obama's stimulus plan. The federal funds will allow state officials to expand the hawk-i program. Beginning July 1st, the state will offer health insurance to all children in families earning up to three times the federal poverty level. That's just over $66,000 for a family of four.” [KAALTV.com, 3/2/09]

Iowa-Based Website That Posts Jobs For Contractors Has Heard From 60 Contractors Looking To Hire (WITH VIDEO). “With hundreds of millions in the pipeline from Washington, Brian May, who posts jobs for contractors across Iowa on his Industry People Group, a career Web site for the construction industry, says contractors are hiring. ‘One company is looking for 30 to 40 workers this year,’ May said. ‘Anyone from flaggers, crane operators, truck drivers, foremen.’ In the five weeks that May has posted jobs, they've heard from 60 contractors who are looking to hire.” [ABC News, 3/4/09]

A Windmill Plant, Which May Be Using Stimulus Funding, Plans to Open in Iowa City, Hire 130 Local Workers, Could Draw More Green Businesses. “Iowa City officials are negotiating with a company seeking to open a manufacturing plant at the 420th Street industrial site on the city's east side that would bring 130 jobs. The company would purchase 18 acres of the 173-acre site. Local officials would not release the name of the company… The plant would manufacture windmill bases, according to Iowa City Planning and Community Development Director Jeff Davidson. It would bring 130 full-time jobs with ‘above-average wages and benefits,’ Davidson said. The company is choosing between Iowa City and Davenport for the location of the new plant... The city is willing to negotiate incentives with the company, including tax incentives, according to Davidson… Proximity to Clipper Windpower in Cedar Rapids and Acciona Windpower in West Branch also makes Iowa City a favorable location, according to Davidson. Lombardo said that the plant likely would attract more interest in the site. ‘If we're successful, we think others will come in,’ he said. Lombardo said that if a deal is reached the plant could be online next year. Asked if he was surprised that a business was considering expanding during an economic downturn, Davidson speculated that the company might be using federal stimulus package money. The package includes funds to support clean energy.” [Iowa City Press-Citizen, 3/3/09]

Nearly $30 Million In Stimulus Money Will Make Long-Discussed BNSF Bridge Repairs A Reality. “Enough stimulus money has been earmarked to upgrade the BNSF bridge in Burlington to make the project a reality. Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. Dave Loebsack, both Democrats, announced Friday that $28.7 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be used to convert the bridge's pivot span to a lift span. The long-discussed project has been targeted since the U.S. Coast Guard found that the it ranked third among bridges most often struck by barges. Between 1992 and 2001, the bridge was struck 92 times. So far, $55.5 million has been secured for the bridge project, whose estimated cost has increased to more than $56 million. The design has been completed for some time and once BNSF moves forward with its share of the funds, the bridge could be completed within two years, providing a substantial number of construction jobs…‘This is a win-win for our state: job creation for working families and a boost to our local economy from needed infrastructure improvements.’ Loebsack also praised the appropriation. ‘This $28 million in Recovery Act Funds builds on my ongoing fight to ensure that Burlington remains a hub for freight rail and a major transportation artery for years to come,’ he said in a statement.” [Burlington Hawk Eye, 4/18/09]

A Stimulus-Funded Project to Replace the Runway at the Iowa City Airport Will Create 50 to 60 Jobs. “A project to rebuild Iowa City Municipal Airport’s runway is finally taking off. Iowa City’s airport will receive $2.5 million in federal stimulus funds to reconstruct its more than 50-year-old runway, Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, announced on March 20… Federal funding will replace the runway — which has cracks, weather-related scaling of pavement, and fragmentation of its surface — with a brand new platform, said Tharp, who is also a licensed pilot. While the state of the runway isn’t extremely hazardous, the ancient strip has reached the end of its life cycle and is threatening to damage aircraft, he said. ‘Projects in general have various degrees of priorities,’ he said. ‘The ones that affect safety and use are among the top. And that’s what our runway system is.’ … Tharp said the airport makes room for several helicopter operations on any given day, including organ donors and critical patient transfers to the UI Hospitals and Clinics. In total, the air station has roughly 30,000 takeoffs and landings annually. Tharp said funding for the reconstruction will create 50 to 60 jobs…” [Daily Iowan, 3/26/09]

Iowa’s Title I Schools To Receive Over $50 Million for Hiring Teachers, Providing Tutoring and Additional Academic Support. “A $126,426 federal stimulus grant to Carroll Community School District for low-achieving students was among more than $50 million in Title 1 grants for Iowa schools announced by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin on Wednesday. Most Iowa school districts will receive such funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Harkin said the grants are for elementary and secondary schools with high percentages of children from low-income families. Schools will use the money - half of which is expected to arrive by the end of March, the other half in October - to provide additional academic support and learning opportunities to help low-achieving children master challenging curricula and meet state standards in core academic subjects. ‘In particular, Iowa school districts may use the funding to hire teachers and teacher assistants, provide tutoring, create school computer labs, fund parent involvement activities, purchase instructional materials, host professional development for teachers and create pre-kindergarten classes,’ Harkin said in a press release.” [Carroll Daily Times-Herald, 3/20/09]

Des Moines Transit Authority Will Use $7.88 Million in Stimulus Funds to Buy Buses, Upgrading Technology and Facilities Improvement, Creating Up to 750 Jobs. “Improvements to Des Moines' bus system will become a reality as early as this fall thanks to federal stimulus money. The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority plans to use $7.88 million in economic stimulus money to pay for six projects, including buying new buses, installing vehicle locator technology, completing a final design for the downtown transit hub project, improving rider communication and repairing the DART headquarters. The money is part of about $36.5 million released to Iowa from the Federal Transit Administration at the beginning of March. The DART projects are expected to generate up to 750 jobs, said DART General Manager Brad Miller… ‘We are very excited to use the stimulus funds to create ... jobs by advancing and modernizing our transit system,’ said DART Commission Chairwoman Angela Connolly, who also is chairwoman of the Polk County Board of Supervisors.” [Des Moines Register, 3/30/09]

Iowa Launched a Website for Disadvantaged Iowa Youth Seeking Jobs Through Recovery Act This Summer. “Iowa Workforce Development said Monday it launched a Web site, the www.YouthforIowa.org, for disadvantaged young Iowans seeking jobs through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal government's economic stimulus initiative. The statewide summer employment program gives young Iowans an opportunity to develop skills needed for successful employment. The program is for Iowans ages 14 to 24 who are considered low-income and meet one of these criteria: Deficient in basic literacy skills; a high school drop-out; homeless, runaway or foster child; pregnant or parenting; an ex-offender; or anyone needing additional assistance to complete an educational program or to secure and hold employment.” [Des Moines Register, 4/21/09]

Iowa Awarded $48.9 Million Worth of Stimulus Contracts for Repaving in 8 Counties. “The Iowa Department of Transportation has awarded an additional $48.9 million in road construction contracts using federal stimulus money , Gov. Chet Culver said today. The work will pay for repaving of roads in eight Iowa counties, including Calhoun, Chickasaw, Clarke, Decatur, Monona, Osceola, Page and Wapello. The projects are being financed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act approved by Congress. Iowa is expected to receive a total of $358 million for state and local road and bridge projects under the legislation.” [Des Moines Register, 3/20/09]

Webster, Iowa Will Use $600,000 to Replace an Aging Bridge, Contract Will Be Let in April. “It didn't take Hamilton County Engineer Danny Waide long to find a "shovel ready" project suitable for the recently-approved federal stimulus package. Sitting in the Hamilton County Secondary Roads five-year plan for about 10 years now has been replacement of the Rocky ford bridge, north of Webster City on the old Cashway blacktop. The design to replace the aging and narrow bridge on R-27 is already done, according to Waide. But with a $1.1 million estimated price tag, budget constraints had previously forced county supervisors to keep pushing it back on the Secondary Roads schedule. Now, with $600,000 in federal stimulus money on the way, bid letting is slated for April. With cooperative weather, the new bridge should be open for traffic by Nov. 1.” [Daily Freeman-Journal, 3/11/09]

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