>To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Colorado 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 Colorado in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON COLORADO
- 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 1.8 million hard-working Colorado families.
- $24,312,305 to support child care for working families.
- $42,618,700 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
- $79,531,213 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
- $49,222,000 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.
- $1,085,967,270 potentially available to Colorado 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.
- $1,300,000 to fund a new Community Health Center, which will serve an estimated 5,240 patients and create a projected 40 jobs.
- $7,528,569 to expand services at 15 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 39,689 patients and create or save a projected 154 jobs.
- $1,265,254 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
- $140,911,583 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.
- $3,329,406 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
- $403,924,130 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
- $103,469,063 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
- $17,284,796 to address airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.
- More than $29.8 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 COLORADO
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
Governor Bill Ritter Said the Stimulus Package Is Playing a Big Part In Colorado’s Recovery. "Gov. Bill Ritter is on the front line of our state's day-in, day-out battle to beat the recession. In the end, he believes Colorado will win the war. ‘I'm very hopeful that Colorado could be one of the first to re-emerge and that we could come out off this at the end of 2009,’ Ritter said. Ritter said federal stimulus money from the Recovery and Reinvestment act is already playing a big part in that recovery. ‘We're already seeing the money, just based on the decisions we're making in state government, where we don't have to make cuts,’ Ritter said. ‘There is also money here that is saving jobs. If you think about the money flowing into school districts, and I've heard one pretty sizeable school distrcit saying, because of the package, they'll avoid laying off 500 teachers.’" [CBS4 Denver, 4/3/09]
Bids For Colorado Stimulus Projects Coming In Under Cost. "Bids for three road and bridge projects, paid for with money from the federal stimulus package, were opened Thursday by the Colorado Department of Transportation. All three apparent winners of the competitive bidding came in under what CDOT’s engineers had thought the projects would cost. ‘Several of the bids came in quite a bit under engineer’s estimate, which is great because we can throw that money back into the pot to use on other projects,’ said CDOT spokeswoman Mindy Crane." [Colorado Business Journal, 4/16/09]
Recovery Act Funding Will Keep Colorado’s Public Colleges At Current Funding During Tough Budget Cuts. "Colorado's public colleges will live to fight another year. With colleges staring at a $300 million cut, Democrats and Republicans joined Thursday to cobble together a budget that keeps higher education at its current funding level. Instead, the pain could be spread to state employees, health-care providers and smokers. Money from the federal stimulus bill - which Gov. Bill Ritter controls - also will play a big role in closing the budget gap…The stimulus money Ritter controls will be used to keep colleges at their current funding levels. However, once the stimulus money is gone in two years, colleges once again could be facing large cuts." [Durango Herald, 4/17/09]
Denver Mayor Hickenlooper Said Federal Stimulus Funds, Coupled With The City’s Infrastructure Bond Program, Will Inject An Estimated $4.5 Billion Into The Local Economy Over The Next Three Years. "Federal economic-stimulus funds awarded to Denver and its partner agencies, coupled with the city's infrastructure bond program, will inject an estimated $4.5 billion into the local economy over the next three years, Mayor John Hickenlooper announced Wednesday. ‘There is genuine reason for optimism,’ Hickenlooper said at a news conference. Denver has received $45.5 million in economic-stimulus funds, with more than half earmarked for infrastructure projects. Partner agencies such as the Denver Housing Authority and Denver Public Schools have received an additional $410 million. The city's $550 million ‘Better Denver’ bond program, which was approved by voters in 2007, has roughly 175 projects in various phases." [Denver Post, 4/16/09]
Stimulus Money Will Fund Over One-Third of Colorado’s Road Projects This Summer. "The Denver area will have at least 38 active road construction projects this summer totaling $234.4 million, 14 of which are being paid for with federal stimulus money, the Colorado Department of Transportation said Wednesday. "With the funds we are receiving from [the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act], we will now be able to have a construction season similar to those of recent years," CDOT Executive Director Russell George said in a statement. "We will be able to resurface roadways, replace poor bridges and improve safety all across the Denver metro area." [Business Journal, 4/8/09]
First Round of Bids for CO Road Projects "Undercut the Agency’s Estimates by Up to 30 Percent." "On April 2, the Colorado Department of Transportation opened bids for five road projects worth nearly $15 million — the first ones bid as part of Colorado’s share of the federal stimulus package… Contractors hungry for work — any kind of work — offered bids that were under what CDOT’s engineers thought the work might cost, meaning the extra money can be poured back into the pot for use later, CDOT officials said. The low bids undercut the agency’s estimates by up to 30 percent." [Denver Business Journal, 4/10/09]
Vestas Wind Systems Held a Job Fair in Pueblo to Fill 400 New Manufacturing Jobs. "Last weekend, Vestas Wind Systems held a job fair in Pueblo, Colo., to fill 400 new manufacturing positions for what it says will be the world's largest turbine-tower factory. More than 1,000 applicants showed up, and hundreds more had to be turned away, according to the company. State and city officials had offered the Denmark-based manufacturer nearly $2 million in tax incentives to build its facility in Pueblo." [Greenwire, 3/23/09]
Stimulus Funds Will Be Used for Cleaning Up the Summitville Mine Superfund Site. "Up to $25 million of President Barak Obama's $5.5 billion U.S. Recovery Act stimulus package is earmarked for cleaning up the Summitville Mine Superfund site in Colorado… After two decades of environmental remediation and $200 million in clean up expenditures, the site is still considered a major source of pollution. Salazar says the federal funds to be used for construction of a 1,600 gallons-per-minute wastewater treatment plant will help restore the Alamosa River and close ‘a difficult chapter in Colorado's history.’’ [Mineweb, 4/20/09]
First Time Buyer Tim Corsaro Bought House in Douglas County Because of the Tax Credit. "Meritage Homes specializes in homes for first time buyers. Tim Corsaro is one of them. ‘I picked this part of town (Meridian Village in northern Douglas County) because I'm 28 and I like the community here,’ Corsaro said, adding that the tax credit was a big factor in his decision. ‘I think it's what got me looking,’ he told 7NEWS. ‘I did my taxes last week and found that I could claim the $8,000 on my 2008 taxes, which was huge for me.’" [ABC 7 News Denver, 3/2/09]
Construction to Widen CO-9 Will Begin as Early as June 1; "There Was No Funding In The Near Future for It Without the Stimulus." "Construction widening Colorado 9 to four lanes between Valley Brook Road and Fairview Boulevard could begin as early as June 1, said project engineer Bob Smith with the Colorado Department of Transportation. The estimated $12 million project ‘was ready and sitting on the shelf’ before federal stimulus money came through and provided the needed finances, Smith said. ‘There was no funding in the near future for it without the stimulus,’ he said of the project, which affects traffic between Breckenridge and Frisco. ‘It could have been three or four more years, easily.’ In addition to lane widening, the project is to realign the recreation path farther from the road, adding a bridge over the Blue River north of Valley Brook Road, he said." [Summit Daily News (CO), 4/6/09]
KRDO "Colorado Springs Health Care Center Getting $1.3 Million." A Colorado Springs Health Care Center will receive over a million dollars to assist in providing health care for the state's uninsured residents. On Monday President Obama and Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall announced the release of $1.3 Million of Recovery Act Funds for the Colorado Springs-based health clinic. The grants will help serve 5,240 state residents and create 40 jobs, according to a press release. According to the release issued by President Obama and Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, the money is authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. "We have acted quickly to put Recovery Act dollars to good use in communities across America," said President Obama. LINK
Colorado Military Bases Will Receive Child Development Center and Solar Power Plant, Along With Building Renovations. "Fort Carson and Peterson Air Force Base will each get a new child development center and the Air Force Academy will get a solar power plant when the military spends its $7.4 billion share of the federal stimulus package. All told, the Department of Defense plans to spend about $94 million of stimulus money in Colorado. The Air Force Academy's $18.3 million solar facility is the biggest item on the military's stimulus list in Colorado. Fort Carson will get $12.5 million for a child development center and $11.5 million to repair its Nutrition Care Division building." [AP, 3/24/09]
Summitville Mine Will Receive Up To $25 Million In Federal Stimulus Funds To Replace An Aging Plant Used To Treat Polluted Mine Water. "The Summitville Mine Superfund site will receive up to $25 million in federal stimulus funds to replace an aging plant used to treat polluted mine water. The plant is ‘antiquated and held together with baling wire and duct tape,’ said Ken Wangerud, site project manager for the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Unable to handle all of the polluted water flowing from the mine site, the plant has released small amounts of acid-laced water to an Alamosa River tributary during high-water periods, which allows the pollution to be diluted, Wangerud said." [Denver Post, 4/16/09]
University Of Northern Colorado Budget "Brightens With A Chunk Of Stimulus Money." "The University of Northern Colorado 2009-10 budget brightens with a chunk of stimulus money, but officials are still considering a range of tuition, fee and room-and-board increases for when federal money dries up in two years. The budget picture improved Wednesday morning when UNC officials learned the state plans to bridge a $300 million shortfall through eliminated tax exemptions and credits and other cost cuts. By doing so — the Joint Budget Committee originally proposed slashing $300 million from higher education — Colorado will be able to maintain higher-education funding at the fiscal 2006 level, which should qualify the state for about $760 million in federal funds." [Greeley Tribune, 4/16/09]
Denver International Will Receive $12 Million From Recovery Act To Rehabilitate Runways. "Denver International Airport will get $12 million for upgrades through the federal stimulus package and Centennial Airport will receive $4.05 million, Colorado's U.S. senators said Monday. DIA has been awarded a $7 million grant for runway rehabilitation and $5 million for apron improvements, Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., said in a joint statement. Centennial Airport will get $4.05 million for taxiway rehabilitation, they said. In addition, Aspen-Pitkin County Airport is to get $4 million for apron improvements. The funds are allocated through the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program, which received $1.1 billion from the federal stimulus bill." [Denver Business Journal, 3/23/09]
Colorado Can Hire More Forest Workers, Finish Fire Prevention Process Faster, Thanks to Stimulus Dollars. "National forests in northern Colorado will get a $5.6 million funding boost from the stimulus package to remove hazardous trees and improve recreation sites. The funding is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by President Obama last month… Locally, forest experts estimate there is a need to treat about 8,600 acres at a cost of $38.7 million, … to reduce … fire-prone stands of dead and dying trees. According to an assessment made last year, the plan was to treat about a third of that acreage during the coming decade, at a cost of about $13.3 million. Any new money coming from federal stimulus funding could speed the pace of that work… said Rick Cables, Regional Forester for the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region, including national forests in Colorado. ‘Projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will bring much-needed work to families, as well as indirect economic benefits from new jobs, to many rural areas of the state." [Summit Daily News, 3/13/09]
KRDO: "Colorado Springs and Pueblo to Get Millions for Transit:" Colorado will receive over $100-million dollars for transit projects, with some of that money going to both Colorado Springs and Pueblo. The money comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is for transportation authorities to build and repair public transportation infrastructure. Under the plan Colorado Springs will get $8.8-million dollars and Pueblo will get $2.4-million dollars. The money has to be used for projects that are ready to begin within 180 days. LINK