To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 24, 2009
Facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, President Obama started his Presidency with decisive action — proposing and quickly passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Since the bill went into effect, the ARRA has already helped put money back in the pockets of 95 percent of working Americans, created and saved jobs across the country and made key investments in our community to help kickstart the economy. To ensure that the funds are spent efficiently and effectively, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with overseeing the implementation of ARRA, and projects have already begun to come in under budget across the country. As the President prepares to introduce the details of his budget and further plans to revitalize the economy, here’s a look at how his policies have impacted Wisconsin in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON WISCONSIN
* Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $1.2 billion back in the pockets of more than 2.2 million hard-working Wisconsin families.
* $30,493,313 to support child care for working families.
* $37,157,700 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
* $141,502,133 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
* $55,488,000 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.
* $1,317,840,782 potentially available to Wisconsin 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.
* $3,915,538 to expand services at 16 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 29,945 patients and create or save a projected 73 jobs.
* $1,782,307 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
* $163,109,663 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.
* $3,905,943 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
* $529,111,915 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
* $81,640,826 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
* $5.3 million to address airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.
* More than $30 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 WISCONSIN
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
Wisconsin Tracking Jobs Created by Stimulus. “Jobs created in Wisconsin with federal stimulus dollars will all be routed to one state Web site. Governor Jim Doyle has signed an executive order requiring all contractors and subcontractors involved with those projects to post their job openings online.” [Superior Telegram, 4/21/09]
Transportation Development Association Director Said Projects Would Not Be Happening Without Stimulus “‘I’ve talked to different groups in different parts of the state who think a lot of this would not have happened,’ said Craig Thompson, executive director of the Transportation Development Association. ‘Would it be happening right now? The answer is primarily no.’ Tom Fisher, president and business manager of the Wisconsin Laborer’s District Council, said that without the boost provided by the stimulus money, hundreds of his members would collect unemployment instead of paychecks this summer.” [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 3/3/09]
Stimulus Funding Will Help Unemployed Wisconsin Workers Find New Jobs. “More than $38 million in federal stimulus money will be headed toward efforts to help unemployed Wisconsin workers. The Legislature’s budget committee on Thursday approved spending the money on programs to help young, adult and disabled workers get the skills they need to find work. That includes tutoring programs, job search assistance, referrals to support services and skill training. Approval for spending the money came on the same day that the Department of Workforce Development reported the state’s unemployment rate hit 9.4 percent in March, surpassing the national rate of 9 percent. A year ago unemployment statewide was just 5 percent. Most of the money approved by the committee has to be distributed to local job centers by Saturday. About $7 million will be used to hire 50 more Workforce Development staff to assist with job placement efforts and helping the unemployed file for insurance.” [AP, 4/16/09]
Rhinelander/Oneida Airport Taxiway Project Will Receive $1.2 Million In Stimulus Funding; Project Is Expected To Create 75 Jobs. “Gov. Jim Doyle and U.S. Rep. Dave Obey (D-7th District) visited the Rhinelander/Oneida County Airport this afternoon to announce the allocation of more than $1.2 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for improvements to the airport’s taxiway system. In addition to the ARRA funding, the governor and congressman announced an additional $477,703 in state, local and federal airport improvement funds to pay for an update to the airport’s master plan and design work for the reconstruction of several other taxiways. Airport Director Joe Brauer…added that their engineering firm projects good, competitive pricing, which they hope will allow them to get even more done with the money than originally anticipated. While the renovations are primarily a traveler safety issue, the project will also yield short term benefits to the local economy in tough times. Brauer said his team determined that the project will provide direct or indirect employment to about 75 individuals for the projected four-month duration of the project.” [NewsOfTheNorth.net, 4/17/09]
Four Community Health Centers In Milwaukee, Which Provide Care to Nearly One In Eight Milwaukee Residents, Will Receive Stimulus Funds To Hire Additional Staff. “Community health centers provide care to nearly one in eight people in Milwaukee – and that number is likely to increase given the thousands of people who have lost their health insurance along with their jobs. ‘We are seeing a whole lot more people who never expected to be in this situation,’ said Lee Carroll, executive director of Health Care for the Homeless of Milwaukee. But the community health centers also are getting some help from the economic recovery act. The four centers in Milwaukee will receive almost $1.4 million from the stimulus bill to hire additional doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, medical assistants and other staff. In all, the 17 community health centers in Wisconsin will receive $4.1 million to help meet the projected increase in people seeking care… But the stimulus bill also allocated $300 million to the National Health Service Corps scholarship and loan repayment program available to doctors, dentists, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners and other clinicians who commit to working at community health centers. They can receive up to $50,000 for an initial two-year commitment. The loan repayment program should help with recruitment… We are just incredibly grateful for it,’ said Carroll of Health Care for the Homeless. ‘We are always saying, How we are going to serve the next patient?’” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/11/09]
Western Wisconsin Received $361,000 In Stimulus Funding To Upgrade Equipment, Preserve Jobs. “Western Wisconsin law enforcement got a big boost from the federal stimulus Friday, and the chief architect of the legislation was in town to hand over the check. Congressman Dave Obey and Governor Doyle were in Chippewa Falls Friday. The two announced that law enforcement agencies in western Wisconsin will receive $361,000 from the federal stimulus. Here’s a look at how that breaks down locally: Eau Claire police will get close to $83,000 to buy software that will transfer suspect information, like mugshots, to officers in the field. The Chippewa Falls Police Department gets more than $15,000 and will use a majority of that to buy a new squad car. ‘That is very small item,’ says Rep. Dave Obey. ‘But the most significant item is the fact that you can keep people on the payroll who otherwise wouldn’t be on the payroll.’ [WQQW-18, 4/17/09]
Dane County Will See The Creation Of 200 New Construction Jobs. “The federal stimulus money coming to Dane County will create an estimated 200 jobs and expedite certain infrastructure projects, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced Friday. Federal assistance for two bridge projects included in the 2009 budget will free up $200,000 for an additional road reconstruction project this year, Falk said. Most of the new jobs would be in construction.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 3/7/09]
Racine Will Buy Seven New Buses, Including Four Hybrid Buses, Using $2.54 Million In Stimulus Funds. “Stimulus money will be rolling into Racine in the form of seven new buses and bus equipment. Racine’s Belle Urban System, or BUS, has been promised $2.54 million as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced Friday. The money will buy: four hybrid buses; three diesel buses; a new magnetic swipe card system; Automative Vehicle Location system software upgrade; a ticket/pass dispensing machine; a new plow truck; and a new BUS repair vehicle.” [The Journal Times Online, 4/13/09]
Stimulus Funds Will Help Green Bay Police Update Equipment and Improve Security. “About $444,000 in federal stimulus funds will help pay for in-squad computers, increase video camera coverage of the downtown area and buy training equipment for the Green Bay Police Department. Gov. Jim Doyle dropped off a ceremonial check at police headquarters Thursday and said the money was part of a $30 million investment in public safety statewide. The money brought to Green Bay is part of $11.2 million in Byrne Justice Assistance Grants allocated as part of the federal Recovery Act. Doyle said more money could be on its way for public safety in the region after details are hashed out for $18.8 million in Recovery Act money earmarked for Wisconsin through a different part of the legislation. Green Bay Police Chief Jim Arts said his department wasn’t at risk of laying off officers because of budget woes, but projects have been shelved because of a lack of funding. Thursday’s announcement allows the department to move forward on some projects already in the works and to start some new initiatives.” [Green Bay Press-Gazette, 4/10/09]
Stimulus Funding Will Help Upgrade Milwaukee Airport to Meet Safety Standards. “General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee will receive $2.5 million in federal stimulus money for runway safety construction. That’s according to Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore, who represents the Milwaukee area. Moore says the money should help get people to work. It also will help the airport meet a Federal Aviation Administration requirement that major airports have an area at the end of each runway that can support a plane’s weight if the plane has an emergency and can’t come to a full stop on the paved runway. The project is already under way at the Milwaukee airport. It is expected to be done by 2013 and cost $58 million in all.” [Chicago Tribune, 3/24/09]
Stimulus Funding Will Renovate Wisconsin Army Facilities, Including World War II-Era Barracks. “The state of Wisconsin will receive more than $37 million in funds from the federal stimulus package to restore and modernize Army facilities in Wisconsin. The funding will go toward 29 individual projects at 13 facilities in Wisconsin, including more than $30 million for Fort McCoy, which is between Sparta and Tomah in western Wisconsin. U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) said Sunday that Wisconsin also will receive $1.1 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for military construction at the Air National Guard base at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee.” [Business Journal of Milwaukee, 3/23/09]
Wisconsin Will Receive $1.78 Million To Provide Meals For Elderly and Impoverished Seniors. “U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, announced today that Wisconsin will receive $1.78 million in additional funding to provide meals to seniors in need of food, restore nutrition services that have been cut, and reinstate positions that may have been eliminated or reduced. These funds are being made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, more commonly referred to as a stimulus package, which was signed into law last month by President Barack Obama.” [WQOW-TV, 3/23/09]
More Than $37 Million In Funding Will Go To Restore And Modernize At Least 13 Army Facilities In Wisconsin. “U.S. Senator Russ Feingold announced today that Wisconsin will receive over $37 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also known as the economic stimulus, to restore and modernize Army facilities in Wisconsin. The funding will go toward 29 individual projects at 13 facilities in Wisconsin, including over $30 million for Fort McCoy. Wisconsin also received $1.1 million for military construction for the Air National Guard. The funding will help put Wisconsinites to work making long overdue improvements to Wisconsin military facilities that benefit the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. ‘The funding announced for Wisconsin will make an incredible difference both for our state’s economy, as well as for our men and women in uniform who work, live and train at our military facilities,’ Feingold said.” [Fon Du Lac Reporter, 3/22/09]
Ron Zalesny of Rhinelander Buying His First Home Due to Stimulus Tax Credit. “Thanks to the money from the federal stimulus package–owning a home can be a reality for renters. Ron Zalesny’s dream is about to come true… Later this year Zalesny and his family will own their first home in the Rhinelander area… Renters for the last 10 years, the Zalesny’s are taking advantage of the first time homebuyer credit as they build their home. Zalesny says, ‘The credit for us is important from the standpoint of being able to invest that money into green built materials. Something that we can put back into the house that we might not have been able to afford had we not had the credit.’ Rick Zoerb is the Zalesny’s realtor. He says the credit is up to $8,000 or 10% of the purchase price… Zoerb says for renters, like the Zalesny’s, who might be taking the plunge into homeownership he suggests people see if they qualify. Zoerb tells Newswatch 12, ‘We will investigate with potential buyers if they meet the basic qualifications for the program, we would also encourage them to talk with their tax preparer.’” [WJFW Channel 12 News, 3/12/09]
Stimulus Funding For Dane County Airport Will Extend Taxiways, Create Jobs For Landscapers, Pavers And Other Workers. “The Dane County Regional Airport will be getting an upgrade thanks to the $789 billion federal economic stimulus law. Gov. Jim Doyle says the airport will use $4 million in stimulus funds to extend a taxiway to allow aircraft and ground service vehicles to maneuver without blocking a runway. Doyle says the project will reduce the risk of collisions and allow planes to leave and arrive more quickly. He also says it will create jobs for landscapers, pavers and other workers. Construction is expected to begin as early as June and most of it will take place this summer. The governor’s office says the project should be done by December.” [USA Today, 3/31/09]