To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Illinois 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 Illinois in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON ILLINOIS
- Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $ 2.4 billion back in the pockets of more than 4.8 million hard-working Illinois families.
- $73,772,628 to support child care for working families.
- $112,175,600 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
- $242,526,619 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
- $101,321,000 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.
- $3,203,906,984 potentially available to Illinois 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.
- $5,200,000 to fund 4 new Community Health Centers, which will serve an estimated 30,560 patients and create a projected 225 jobs.
- $15,181,564 to expand services at 36 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 66,421 patients and create or save a projected 271 jobs.
- $3,770,526 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
- $35,494,000 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.
- $8,465,397 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
- $935,592,704 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
- $467,537,681 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
- $8,870,234 to address airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.
- More than $83.6 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 ILLINOIS
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
Chicago Window Company Will Re-Open After Being Purchased By Company That Plans to Expand Because of the Stimulus Package. "The 250 workers who staged a December sit-in at a Chicago window factory to protest losing their jobs were celebrating Thursday, after another window manufacturer announced plans to reopen the plant and start hiring back the displaced workers within months. The sale of what had been Republic Windows and Doors to a California company, Serious Materials, for $1.45 million, was completed in bankruptcy court this week, with company officials promising United Electrical Workers Local 1110 to rehire all the laid-off workers at their former rate of pay. ‘We see this opportunity to expand our operations in direct relation to the stimulus package, which includes the greening of federal buildings and the weatherization assistance program,’ said Sandra Vaughan, the chief marketing officer for Serious Materials, which also manufactures energy-efficient windows and building products in Boulder, Colo., and Vandergrift, Pa." [New York Times, 2/26/09]
Stimulus Will Provide 350 Summer Jobs in Lake County. "Lake County residents ages 18-24 have a new opportunity to land summer jobs due to federal stimulus funds. The Lake County Workforce Department has received nearly $2 million for that purpose from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The funding will support summer jobs to young adults and help local organizations by supplying them with summer help at no cost. Lake County began recruiting workers and work sites on Monday. The program will serve roughly 350 people this summer and another group during the summer of 2010." [Lake County-News-Sun, 3/24/09]
Laid-Off Workers Taking Advantage Of Stimulus-Funded Displaced Worker Training In Illinois. "Sen. Dick Durbin swings through Rockford to meet victims of the recession. And with the highest unemployment in the state, there was no shortage of laid off workers to greet. Durbin held a small group session with about a half-dozen laid off workers, then he took a quick tour of the EIGERlab. His message was a mixture of grim reality and hope for the future. ‘We've heard the numbers,’ Durbin said. ‘We know what the state of the economy is. There isn't a single person in this room that hasn't been touched in some way shape or form.’ That included Fredereka Hill and Xira Hardt who were laid off from Chrysler's Belvidere plant in march last year. Now they're taking advantage of free displaced worker training, paid for by stimulus money. ‘I just chose to go back to school and take advantage of the dislocated worker program,’ Hill said. ‘I'm just very happy that it's there, because otherwise I don't know where we'd be at,’ Hardt said. And even though it's federal tax day and angry taxpayers protest government spending, Durbin defended the Obama plan. ‘I would say that at this point in time, with the economy that we face, what we understand that what we have to do is put money into this economy right now, to create new jobs, to stop this economic decline right now,’ he said." [WREX, 4/16/09]
Funding Announced for Peoria Int’l Airport to Help With Terminal Rebuilding, A Project That Will Create 250-300 Jobs. "The revving of tractor engines as people work makes it hard to argue the viability of a stimulus package meant to create jobs…Durbin, D-Ill., formally announced $7.25 million in earmarks and funding to the Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport at the airport Thursday. It is in the middle of an estimated $58 million terminal rebuilding. A windfall of $6.3 million is written into the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. ‘There were those who were skeptical of the president's stimulus package, there were those who said that they weren't going to vote for it, that they opposed the president's effort to try and bring some life into the economy. They didn't believe it would create jobs,’ Durbin said. The stimulus money will put people to work this construction season. The airport terminal project will create an estimated 250 to 300 jobs by its completion date at the end of next year. ‘This isn't a promise about something that is going to happen in the future. This is money that is going to be spent starting now,’ Durbin said." [Peoria Journal-Star, 4/16/09]
Buffalo Grove-Based Essex Crane Rental Is Expecting to Benefit from the Stimulus. "US crane rental firm Essex Crane Rental is expecting to realise the benefits of the US government’s stimulus package in the second half of 2009, as it reports full-year revenue and gross profit increases in 2008. ‘During the fourth quarter, the challenging commercial credit environment, economic uncertainty and lower oil prices impacted our customers and new order activity, including downstream power and petrochemical owners, who chose to defer certain maintenance projects,’ said Ron Schad, president and CEO of Essex Crane. ‘During the latter portion of the first quarter of 2009, we began to see a pick up in quoting activity that is consistent with levels in the same period last year. In addition, our quoting activity leads us to believe we will realise a benefit beginning in the second half of 2009 from infrastructure projects included in the Federal Stimulus Bill that target highway and heavy bridge construction, civil works programmes, and water and wastewater treatment. Alternative energy projects, especially wind energy, are also expected to generate higher level of quoting activity.’" [Cranes Today, 3/31/09; www.essexcrane.com]
Illinois Company Work Area Protections Has Already Received Inquiries from New Jersey Contractors Looking to Buy Its Road Construction-Related Products, Expects to Benefit from Stimulus. "But beyond his pride in protecting the motoring public, Mr. Ford had a big reason to smile last week at World of Asphalt, the industry’s annual trade show. With $27.5 billion in federal stimulus money heading to state transportation departments, the people who make their living by building highways were in an uncharacteristic good mood. They hope the money will begin to revive an industry that hit a rough patch last year. ‘It’s got to go somewhere; some of it’s got to come to us,’ said Mr. Ford, the Eastern regional manager for Work Area Protection, a company based in Illinois. He said his hopes were lifted by calls he had received in the last few days from contractors in New Jersey who were interested in buying solar-powered light-up signs, the ones that steer drivers into other lanes and warn of road work ahead." [New York Times, 3/16/09]
Southern Illinois Health Clinic to Hire Doctors and Staffers with Stimulus Funds. "Federal stimulus funds are coming Southern Illinois. U.S. Jerry Costello, (D)-Belleville, was in Carterville Wednesday touring a healthcare facility that will get some of the money…A federal grant allows Shawnee Health Service to care for patients who can't afford it. With more and more people out of a job, offices in Carterville, Murphysboro and Carbondale are busy. ‘We've seen an increase in the number of uninsured patients by ten percent compared to this time last year,’ said executive director George O'Neill…’[The federal stimulus plan] is intended to expand services, retain jobs and create jobs and that's exactly what we're doing with the $311,000 dollars coming to Shawnee [Health Service,]’ Costello said. More patients mean Shawnee Health Service needs to expand. They'll use the the funds to hire three physicians-- an obstetrician, a dentist, and a psychiatric nurse practitioner. They'll also hire twelve staffers." [WSIL-TV, 4/9/08]
Waukegan Superfund Site Will Receive Up To $25 Million In Stimulus Funds; Waukegan Mayor Called Announcement "Outstanding News For The City." "Up to $25 million in stimulus funds will go toward turning a toxic Superfund site in Waukegan into a piece of land can be developed for residential use, officials announced. Between $10 and $25 million in stimulus funds will go toward cleaning up the Outboard Marine Corporation Superfund site, adjacent to Illinois Beach State Park in Waukegan, the office of Gov. Pat Quinn announced Wednesday. High levels of PCBs were discovered in sediments collected in Waukegan Harbor in 1981, and officials later discovered that the contamination was being caused by Outboard Marine Corporation, which at the time operated a plant along the lakefront in Waukegan. Outboard Marine manufactured outboard motors, lawnmowers, industrial vehicle and turf-care vehicles at the plant, and had discharged hydraulic fluid contaminated with PCBs into floor drains and a drainage ditch that contaminated the surrounding soil, the governor's office recounted. The Outboard Marine plant site was placed on the toxic Superfund list in 1983 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Actions have been taken since then to stabilize the Outboard site, including plans to demolish the shuttered Outboard Marine building and the excavation and disposal of all contaminated soil, according to the governor's office release. With the stimulus money secured, that work will begin. Once the old Outboard Marine building is demolished and the soil is hauled off, the site will be redeveloped into a residential area, according to the governor's office. ‘This is outstanding news for the city,’ Waukegan Mayor Richard Hyde said in the news release. ‘This work will free up more than 60 acres of valuable lakefront property that otherwise would have remained unusable.’ Both President Barack Obama and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel were backers of a cleanup at the Outboard Motor Superfund site when they were serving in the U.S. Senate and House, respectively. U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) has also been a strong backer of a cleanup. [CBS 2 Chicago, 4/16/09]
Thanks to Stimulus Funding, an Illinois Non-Profit That Provides Employment and Job-Training Assistance Will Be Able to Offer a Summer Youth Jobs Program for the First Time in Eight Years. "A local agency will get nearly $1.2 million in stimulus funding to create between 500 and 600 summer jobs for disadvantaged area youths. Additionally, the Champaign Consortium will receive $1 million in federal stimulus money to assist dislocated workers and jobless adults with training and other job-related assistance… Al Anderson, director of the consortium, said this will be the first time in eight years his agency will have a summer youths jobs program. It will be offered to young people in Champaign, Ford, Piatt and Iroquois counties. ‘We're real happy about it,’ Anderson said. ‘Part of the issue with kids hanging out is they need something to do, and they don't have any money to do anything.’ The Champaign Consortium is a not-for-profit agency, established in 1974, that provides employment and job-training assistance in the four counties. The program will offer both summer jobs and job training, with youths earning the minimum wage of $7.75 an hour, rising to $8 an hour July 1. Youths ages 14 to 24 will be able to start work May 1 and continue through Sept. 30, working up to 35 hours per week, Anderson said. The program will be geared to youths from lower-income families." [The News-Gazette, 3/28/09]
Chicago Transit Authority Planned to Use $241 Million in Stimulus Funds to Buy Hybrid Buses, Rebuild Bus and Rail Cars and Replace Tracks on Chicago’s Blue Line. "The CTA is in line for a $241 million windfall from the federal stimulus package and will use the money to purchase hybrid articulated buses, rebuild aging buses and rail cars and replace Blue Line subway tracks, a top mayoral aide said Friday." [Chicago Sun-Times, 3/6/09]
Village Of South Elgin (IL) Hopes To Hire Two New Police Officers With Recovery Act Funding. "The village could soon see some very real benefits from the federal stimulus package, including possible grant funding to hire two police officers previously pulled from the 2009-10 budget. The village also is considering using a bonding mechanism included in the stimulus bill to pay for anti-flooding measures that would rebate a portion of the interest paid. South Elgin plans to apply for a U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Hiring Recover Program to hire two officers, said Chris Merritt, chief of police. The 2009-10 village budget does not include money for two open patrol officer slots in the police department — positions left open after officers left the South Elgin force. A $460,907 grant could pay for two officers for three years each, Merritt said. The village would have to make up the difference between the grant funding and actual costs for the two positions — about $6,000 the first year and $22,000 by the third year." [Elgin Courier News (IL), 4/7/09]
Three Illinois Airports Will Receive $10 Million in Stimulus Money to Renovate Runways. "Federal authorities are setting aside nearly $10 million in stimulus money for three Illinois airports. A statement from Sen. Dick Durbin's office on Thursday says the U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding the money in grants to airports in Rockford, Decatur and the Quad Cities. Around $4 million will go toward renovating a taxiway at the Chicago/Rockford International Airport. The same airport will also get $1 million to expand a terminal building. The Quad City International Airport will receive about $3.5 million for work on an existing runway. And the Decatur Municipal Airport will get nearly $800,000 to renovate its primary runway." [USA Today, 3/20/09]
Chicago Airport Will Receive $12 Million to Renovate Runways and Improve Operations. "O'Hare Airport is getting $12 million in federal stimulus funds to rehabilitate one of its runways. Senator Dick Durbin says money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be used to fix an already existing runway to comply with Federal Aviation Administration annual runway inspections. Durbin says the rehab project will provide jobs and improve O'Hare's long-term operations." [WLS-TV, 3/19/09]
Peoria Is Trying to Use Stimulus Money to Replace the City’s Buses With New Hybrid Buses Using Technology Produced By Local Companies. "It's a long shot in a short stimulus time frame. But within the next year, CityLink could take a quantum leap from nearly scrapped buses salvaged from Chicago to nearly silent hybrid vehicles using local technology… If everything falls into place, CityLink could use Firefly batteries and pennycress fuel to propel mass transit. Both are being developed here. The hybrid vehicles would be virtually odorless and noiseless… ‘It seems to me a win-win on both sides,’ said CityLink General Manager Tom Lucek. ‘It's never been done. Why not now?’ So alternative bids weighing cost and environmental factors will be prepared as CityLink uses its $4.2 million in federal stimulus funds to upgrade the Peoria area's aging bus fleet. Industry averages show the life span of a bus is 12 years; CityLink's newest bus is 17 years old. Unlike funding which was promised by the state for new buses a couple of years ago, this money does not need to go through the Illinois Department of Transportation process. Now that the funding has been approved by Peoria/Pekin Urbanized Transportation Study committee, bids will got out as soon as they can be prepared. ‘When we go out for bids, we can go out for some unusual things,’ Lucek said, cautioning the money must be spent quickly to meet federal guidelines. ‘If this isn't ready by then, we'll have to go with a traditional diesel.’ Firefly Vice President Mil Ovan said the company is "eager" to work with metropolitan bus companies such as CityLink. Questioned about the tight time frame, he said, ‘You know what? We will do it.’" [Peoria Journal Star, 4/6/09]
Chicago area health clinics to receive stimulus money. Three health clinics from the Chicago area will receive stimulus money from the government to help improve their services. President Obama made the announcement Monday morning as he announced the appointment of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as health and human services secretary. Pres. Obama said 155 million dollars will go to 126 clinics across the country to give more people access to primary and preventive healthcare. LINK