To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Florida 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 Florida in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON FLORIDA
- Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $3.5 billion back in the pockets of more than 7.1 million hard-working Florida families.
- $105,331,254 to support child care for working families.
- $168,643,400 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
- $175,984,474 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
- $126,089,000 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.
- $4,082,114,882 potentially available to Florida 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.
- $10,107,586 to fund 8 new Community Health Centers, which will serve an estimated 35,720 patients and create a projected 265 jobs.
- $17,616,277 to expand services at 43 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 100,976 patients and create or save a projected 255 jobs.
- $7,227,015 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
- $817,026,895 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.
- $10,461,206 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
- $1,346,735,003 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
- $316,196,713 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
- $12,857,400 to address airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.
- More than $135.1 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 FLORIDA
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
Stimulus Funding Has Saved Two State Healthcare Programs For The High-Cost Poor, Aged And Disabled. "As the recession goes on, Florida's healthcare industry's primary focus for the upcoming legislative session is to block cuts to Medicaid funding while proposing some tax increases to make up for the growing number of uninsured patients. Thanks to the Obama stimulus package, $4 billion in Medicaid funds will be flowing to Florida over the next three years, supporting the state-federal program for the poor and disabled at a time when it was facing big cuts… Because of the federal money, two other programs have been saved: The Medically Needy, which supports high-cost poor patients, such as those with organ transplants, and a special Medicaid program for the aged and disabled. Both programs were endangered, but the federal money requires that states getting it not reduce or eliminate funding for other health programs serving the poor." [Miami Herald, 3/2/09]
Stimulus-Funded Projects in FL Closer to Beginning, Particularly in Tampa Bay Area; Anticipated Job Creation Will Stretch Across Many Industries – "It’s Everything from Steel Manufacturing Companies to Designers to Behind-the-Scenes Inspectors." "The jobs promised through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are coming closer to being posted and filled, especially in the Tampa Bay area, where transportation projects are slated to receive some of the largest allotments of ARRA funding in the state. The Florida Department of Transportation has recommended the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway/Interstate 4 connector project in Hillsborough County for more than $105 million in stimulus funding and the U.S. 19 improvement project in Pinellas County for about $45 million."[Tampa Bay Business Journal, 4/17/09]
A Long-Planned Tallahassee Bridge Project Will Go Forward Thanks to Stimulus Funds; The Project Is Expected to Create More Than 3,500 New Jobs. "A massive construction project is set to begin on the Treasure Coast, bringing with it thousands of jobs. The Legislative Budget Commission in Tallahassee approved the Indian Street Bridge project Wednesday. The approval clears the way for Martin County to get federal stimulus dollars to help pay for construction. The bulk of the $200 million needed to pay for the bridge will come from federal stimulus funds. The rest will come from the Metropolitan Planning Organization and county funds accumulated through the years. County leaders have been trying to get the Indian Street Bridge project off the ground for nearly a decade… The bridge is designed to relieve congestion in Martin County by connecting Stuart and Palm City. Currently, drivers use the Palm City Bridge… The shovel-ready project could create more than 3,500 new jobs. County leaders said the construction could begin in a matter of months, maybe even weeks." [WPBF TV 25, 4/15/19]
Gov. Crist Announced $132 Million In Stimulus Funds For The Florida Department Of Environmental Protection And Said The Money "Will Help Create Jobs, Boost Local Economies, Improve Aging Water Infrastructure, And Protect Our Health." ‘Governor Charlie Crist, continuing his efforts to reinvigorate Florida’s economy and protect Florida’s environment, today announced the award of more than $132 million to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The funds, provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will help the state and local governments finance many overdue improvements to wastewater and stormwater projects that are essential for protecting public health and the environment across the state. ‘These federal stimulus funds will help create jobs, boost local economies, improve aging water infrastructure and protect our health,’ said Governor Crist. ‘At least 20 percent of the funds will be committed to green infrastructure and promoting innovative green practices such as water and energy efficiencies.’" [South Beach Community Examiner, 4/18/09]
Stimulus Funds Enabled Ocala to Retain Music, Art, and PE Teachers, Half Of Whom Were Going to Be Laid Off; Ocala Will Hire Back 522 Teachers. "Music, art and physical education teaching positions, which were going to be reduced by half for 2009-10, will be fully staffed next school year, School District officials said. Superintendent of Schools Jim Yancey also said that all media specialists and most peer counselors, known as deans, will be reinstated for next school year. The news ended speculation that the School District might not fully staff those positions next year, even though Yancey has said he will hire back the 522 teachers whose contracts were not renewed early this year. But unlike this school year, when Yancey promised the School District could maintain its staff the entire year, the county’s top educator warned that if state funding is cut during 2009-10 that some teachers may be laid off. The issue of rehiring the 522 teachers resurfaced at a School Board meeting last week when School Board member Ron Crawford asked Yancey how he could commit to hiring back all of those teachers. Yancey said it is clear the School District will get Recovery Act stimulus money, which will reduce the anticipated budget shortfall to $13 million." [Ocala Star Banner, 4/21/09]
Florida Sun-Sentinel: Broward County: Health clinic to get $1 million stimulus: A small nonprofit health clinic serving the poor and uninsured in Hollywood and Pompano Beach will get about $1 million from the federal economic stimulus plan, the White House said Monday. Broward Community & Family Health Centers has a budget of about $1.4 million, so the new grant will help the clinic greatly expand the number of people who can get treated, said Chief Executive Rosalyn Frazier. The clinic was one of eight in Florida to share $10.1 million in stimulus money. LINK
Funding For Electronic Health Records To Create 132 New Jobs in Tampa Bay Area. "Funding included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for electronic health records is expected to lead to 132 new jobs in the Tampa Bay area. The new jobs will be for people who would work alongside physicians as trainers and support staff. They will help doctors convert from writing paper prescriptions to using electronic prescribing, according to a release from PaperFree Tampa Bay, a new public/private partnership. The effort is a first step toward implementing connected electronic health records to improve patient safety and cut costs, the release said." [Tampa Bay Business Journal, 3/16/09]
Miami-Dade Police Department Will Avoid Layoffs, Hire 50 New Officers And Invest In New Crime Fighting Technology. "The county police department is set to receive close to $3.8 million, according to information released by the White House on Friday. Miami-Dade Police Director Robert Parker said the county will be able to avoid future layoffs, hire 50 additional officers and invest in new crime-fighting technology. The county employs 3,100 sworn officers and employs 4,890 overall." [Miami Herald, 3/7/09]
Consumers Using Stimulus Tax Breaks on Home Improvements, Renovation-- Central Builders Supply Has Seen Recent Increase in Business. "Consumers are staying home more instead of traveling and cooking instead of eating out, so many are making their homes nicer and more comfortable, said Harriet Jones, owner of Carpet One Floor & Home. ‘The extra money they do have - stimulus money and tax returns - people are using for area rugs, to paint, to maybe get new appliances, of course to get new carpets,’ she said. Homeowners are also renovating their kitchens and bathrooms or building new additions, said Mark Stubbs, light commercial and residential manager for Mark Hurm & Co., a Gainesville heating and air, plumbing and general contractor. More home builders are diversifying to generate business by doing renovations, according to Margie Krpan, deputy executive vice president of the Builders Association of North Central Florida." [The Gainesville Sun, 3/14/09]
Lake County Roadwork Expected To Create Up To 1,150 Jobs. "The state plans to funnel nearly $49 million in federal stimulus money to road and bridge work in Lake County, including $41 million for the widening of U.S. Highway 27 south of Clermont, a project expected to create 1,150 jobs. The money, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, could begin flowing into area projects in 90 days or less, said T.J. Fish, executive director of the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization, the region's advisory agency on transportation. The county will receive an additional $7.8 million for resurfacing projects, enough to improve about 25 miles of bad roads, Public Works Director Jim Stivender said. ‘It's not [to improve] the road in front of your house,’ Stivender said. ‘It's for the most heavily traveled local roads in the worst condition, the roads that get you to work.’" [Orlando Sentinel, 4/5/09]
Stimulus-Funded Construction Improvements At Tampa International Airport Will Create 265 Jobs In Tampa Bay. "Tampa International Airport will receive $8 million in airport improvement funds under the $787 billion federal stimulus package, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa., said this morning. The $8 million will be used for taxiway reconstruction. In conjunction with a $23 million infrastructure improvement plan airport officials moved forward, the two projects will add 265 more jobs to Tampa Bay with average construction wages of $21.50 per hour." [The Tampa Tribune, 3/23/09]
Stimulus Funds To Bring Four New Deputies to Highland County, Keep Anti-Meth Grant Funded. "After hearing the latest news about potential stimulus money, Highlands County Sheriff Susan Benton awaits hiring four new deputies. ‘Throughout this bill there were moneys put back into programs and grants funded that were cut last year,’ Benton said. ‘We are extremely happy, especially with the local funding diminishing.’ …Benton said the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program, funded by the new stimulus, was depleted last year due to high needs from the state. ‘It has been a grant where a lot of law enforcement agencies can get equipment without having to go though general fund dollars,’ she said. ‘It can also be used for mental health programs.’ While 60 percent of the $135.1 million will go directly to the state, the remaining 40 percent will be set aside for units of local government. The dollars will support a variety of efforts such as hiring and support for law enforcement officers, multi- jurisdictional drug and gang task forces, crime prevention, domestic violence programs, courts, corrections and treatment, the press release said." [Sebring News-Sun, 3/8/09]
Tampa International Airport Will Receive $8 Million in Stimulus Funding, Expected to Create 265 Jobs Paying Between $19 and $24 Per Hour. "Tampa International Airport will get $8 million in airport improvement funds from the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Rep. Kathy Castor told airport officials Friday. A news conference was held Monday at the airport… Estimates predict that these two projects will create more than 265 jobs, including site work, concrete work, utilities, electrical work, equipment operators and hauling. The total payroll for both projects is estimated to be more than $12.2 million combined. Jobs will be in site work, concrete work, utilities and electrics, with equipment operators and haulers also needed, Castor said in a release. The jobs pay between $19 and $24 an hour, with work beginning as early as this summer." [Tampa Bay Business Journal,3/23/09]
Stimulus To Help Create Summer Jobs For Youth in Florida County With High Unemployment Rate. "Monica Marin and Kendra Parry are worried. The Wiregrass Ranch High School juniors will embark on their first job hunts this summer. From what they've heard from friends, it's not easy for a teen to get a break nowadays. ‘They get rejected a lot,’ said Parry, 17. ‘The people will seem interested and say 'oh, we'll call you back,' but they never do,’ Marin, 16, said. That may soon change. The Pasco Hernando Workforce Board is slated to receive $3.7 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Ac t of 2009 (a.k.a. the stimulus bill.) The majority will be used to help the recently laid off get back to work. But kids get the second largest piece of the pie. Almost a third of the money will go toward creating minimum wage-paying summer jobs for 14- to 24-year-olds. It's the first time in 13 years the board has received funding for a summer youth employment program. Marin and Parry were stoked to hear the news. ‘They actually care about the teenage population,’ Marin said. It's good news for the adult population, too. Hernando County boasts the state's second highest unemployment rate — 12.4 percent. Pasco trails behind at 10 percent." [St. Petersburg Times, 3/20/09]
Stimulus Money Aiding Florida Law Enforcement Agencies With Overtime Pay And New Employees For Criminal Justice System. "What’s the police radio 10-code for ‘jackpot?’ As $4 billion in federal stimulus money slated for state and local law enforcement trickles down from the capital, Florida agencies are making plans for their first round of funds, $135 million in grant money. The Department of Justice recently released a funding breakdown for counties and cities, and the sums are staggering. ‘We’re distributing four or five times the amount we normally do,’ said Clayton Wilder, grants administrator for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which divides up the annual federal grant to local agencies. That grant, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, is the vehicle for stimulus money this year. Lee County can apply for roughly $768,000 in individual allocations from the federal government, well above last year’s $53,000. Collier will take in nearly $550,000, compared to about $40,000 last year. In addition, Wilder and FDLE will distribute another $53 million of federal money to agencies as it sees fit." [Naples Daily News, 3/21/09]
Florida Received Nearly $1M in Stimulus Funding For Wildfire Prevention As State Deals With Tough Dry Season. "The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has been awarded $900,000 under the federal stimulus plan to conduct wildfire prevention efforts. The money, which is being provided by the U.S. Forest Service, will allow the Florida Division of Forestry to conduct prescribed burning to minimize the impact of wildfires, conduct other hazardous fuel reduction activities and provide community information and education to Florida residents living near high wildfire-risk areas,’ according to a news release. Some of the projects are designed to lessen the density of vegetation. Others will provide community information so that residents can learn how to lower their home and community's wildfire risk. The agency will work in partnership with other land management organizations and engage Florida contractors in the project as a key element of the federal stimulus program is job creation, according to the news release. The funding comes as Florida deals with tough wildfire season the result of the lack of rainfall through the fall and winter." [South Florida Business Journal, 3/17/09]
Stimulus Act Will Fund Community Health Centers And Create Or Save 255 Health Center Jobs In Tampa Bay Area. "Eight organizations in the Tampa Bay area were awarded a total of $3.7 million in funding for community health centers. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a total of $338 million to expand services at community health centers nationwide, with money made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the $787 billion federal stimulus program, a release said. The grants, titled Increased Demand for Services grants, will be distributed to 1,128 federally qualified health center. The centers will use the funds over the next two years to create or retain about 6,400 health center jobs and provide care to about 2.1 million patients, including about 1 million uninsured people, the release said. Florida received 43 grants, totaling $17.6 million. The funding will create or retain about 255 jobs and the centers receiving the funds will serve an estimated 100,976 new patients, including 73,692 uninsured patients, the release said. [Tampa Bay Business Journal, 3/30/09]
South Florida Workforce Investment Board Said Stimulus Funds "Will Provide Critically Needed Training, Job Placement Services" For Area Hit Hard By Unemployment. "South Florida’s unemployment rate has hit 7.4 percent in February 2009, an increase of 2.8 percentage points from a year ago (4.6 percent). The current unemployment rate was 2.0 percentage points lower than the state unemployment rate of 9.4 percent and the national rate of 8.1. The last time Florida’s February unemployment rate was this high or higher was in April 1976, when the rate was 9.4 percent. In February 2009, the unemployment rates of the two counties that comprise the South Florida Workforce Region were 7.5 percent in Miami-Dade County and 6.2 percent in Monroe County." [South Florida Carribbean News, 3/27/09]
Leesburg Aiport Will Receive $4.5 Million From Recovery Act To Extend Runway, Allowing For Larger Commercial Plane Use. "This city's international airport landed a big one from the federal government.The White House media office reported Friday that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will hand out $4.5million in federal stimulus money to Leesburg so it can extend the airport's main runway by about 1,300 feet. A longer runway will enable larger commercial planes to take off and fly longer distances from Leesburg International Airport. It also will help draw commercial airlines to operate flights out of Leesburg, according to airport manager Charlie Weller. The federal money is part of the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009." [Orlando Sentinel, 3/29/09]