To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Alabama families
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 Alabama in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON ALABAMA
- Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $900 million back in the pockets of more than 1.7 million hard-working Alabama families.
- $38,470,990 to support child care for working families.
- $31,577,900 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
- $71,800,599 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
- $55,570,000 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.
- $1,160,611,920 potentially available to Alabama 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.
- $3,310,000 to fund 3 Community Health Centers, which will serve an estimated 12,140 patients and create a projected 90 jobs.
- $6,006,145 to expand services at 15 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 27,969 patients and create or save a projected 69 jobs.
- $1,527,656 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
- $169,785,318 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.
- $2,985,150 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
- $513,692,083 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
- $46,459,047 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
- $2 million for Mobile Regional Airport to address safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.
- More than $30.2 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 ALABAMA
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
Stimulus Funds Will Save 3,800 Teacher Jobs in Alabama. "About 3,800 teacher positions will be spared with the $1 billion federal stimulus funds Alabama's education budget will receive over the next two years, state Superintendent Joe Morton told local superintendents and educators today. Nearly 1,000 superintendents, financial officers, board members and administrators came to the superintendent's meeting to find out what to expect from the state's portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The state education budget will receive a little more than $1 billion over the next two years to be used to prevent layoffs, improve poor schools, update technology and expand special education programs." [Birmingham News, 3/23/09]
Alabama Rolled Out Website to Track Use of Stimulus Dollars. "The state of Alabama launched a Web site Friday to allow citizens to track how the state spends federal stimulus dollars. Alabamians can see how much stimulus money is being put into a variety of programs at www.stimulus.alabama.gov. The Web site will be updated to reflect new information on the stimulus law as federal agencies issue specific regulations on funding uses and requirements, according to a state news release. It will also allow organizations and individuals to submit proposals for use of the stimulus funds. Submitted proposals will be reviewed to identify projects that could qualify for funding. ‘My administration is committed to making sure Alabama carries out its responsibilities under this law with full transparency and accountability,’ Gov. Bob Riley said." [Birmingham Business Journal, 2/27/09]
Dothan City and Enterprise City School Superintendents Said Stimulus Money Would Save Jobs in Their Districts. "Dothan City School Superintendent Sam Nichols said thanks to the stimulus money the system will be able to save about 20-25 jobs that might have been on the butcher’s block otherwise. Nichols said some jobs would have to be cut to ensure the system could carry a one-month’s operating balance as required by the state, but the cuts would be worse if not for the stimulus funds. Enterprise City School Superintendent James Reese said 15-20 jobs may have been cut if not for the stimulus funds. Reese said his system won’t have to cut any this year because of proration thanks to the stimulus funding." [Dothan Eagle, 4/6/09]
Alabama Contractors Said Stimulus Funding For Infrastructure Projects "Will Help Stop The Bleeding In Their Industry And Will Re-Employ Highway Workers In Every Corner Of The State." "Alabama's road contractors are hungry for state and local officials to give the green light to more than $107 million in transportation projects next week. They say the federal stimulus-fueled work could allow them to put more than 1,000 laid-off workers back on the job. ‘A lot of people in this business lost their jobs, about 12,000 jobs statewide,’ said Tim Mullendore, president of APAC MidSouth, a Birmingham-based paving company. ‘The stimulus money is a welcomed injection into our industry. It will create some jobs but, more important, it will save jobs. We expect it to create a 10-12 percent increase in the work force.’ The Alabama Department of Transportation will open bids April 10 for $85 million in road projects across the state, and the Birmingham Metropolitan Planning Organization is expected Wednesday to approve 14 local projects worth $22.9 million. Contractors say those moves will help stop the bleeding in their industry and will re-employ highway workers in every corner of the state…‘We are pleased; it does give us a bump. We have had significant layoffs over the last four or five months,’ Fleming said. ‘The stimulus projects will curtail future layoffs for the short term, and could possibly create the opportunity for a little bit of gearing up and hiring. ‘But mainly it will just stop the bleeding.’ Norrell said that each $1 billion in transportation construction supports 35,000 jobs." [Birmingham News, 4/3/09]
Stimulus Funds Saved Eleven Arab City, Alabama Teachers’ Jobs. "Eleven Arab teaching jobs will be saved thanks to nearly $600,000 of the stimulus money heading this way. Arab City Schools expects to receive $1.35 million Preliminary estimates The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, according to preliminary estimations the Alabama Board of Education released Thursday afternoon. Of Arab's allocation, $559,907 is fiscal stabilization funds, which can be used for saving teacher jobs or hiring new people. In Arab's case, that will save 11 teaching jobs, Superintendent John Mullins told the Arab Board of Education at its regular meeting Thursday night. The money could not have come at a better time, he said, because, with the way state budgeting for the 2009-2010 year was heading, that's how many teachers Arab would have been forced to pink-slip at the end of this school year. More good news, he said, is that Arab will get roughly the same amount of stabilization funds next year, providing a safety net of 11 jobs for the 2010-2011 school year." [Arab Tribune, 3/30/09]