To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Kentucky 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 Kentucky in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON KENTUCKY
- Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $800 million back in the pockets of more than 1.6 million hard-working Kentucky families.
- $34,898,645 to support child care for working families.
- $25,382,500 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
- $70,913,750 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
- $52,533,000 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.
- $ 1,051,494,526 potentially available to Kentucky 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.
- $4,974,534 to fund 4 new Community Health Centers, which will serve an estimated 20,030 patients and create a projected 150 jobs.
- $5,124,378 to expand services at 19 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 38,209 patients and create or save a projected 77 jobs.
- $1,356,017 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
- $205,301,202 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.
- $2,686,741 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
- $421,094,991 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
- $ 50,295,172 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
- $11,900,000 to address airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.
- More than $24 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 KENTUCKY
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
AP: Stimulus Money Working In Kentucky Back Country. "It isn't glamorous, but Darrell Hess is glad to have a job paid for by money from the federal stimulus package. Hess, along with his general contractor partner Leonard Brown, hired three men in a work crew to clear debris in the Daniel Boone National Forest in eastern Kentucky from the late January ice storm. ‘I'll be honest with you,’ Hess said. ‘I was glad to hear about this because I didn't know where my next job was going to come from.’ The Daniel Boone National Forest received $550,000 of the $1.15 federal stimulus money being moved through the U.S. Forest Service, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Another Kentucky forest area, The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in Western Kentucky, where damage from the January ice storm was more severe, got $3 million. Boone forest officials hired Swift & Staley, a western Kentucky contractor that already had been approved to do work in Land Between the Lakes, and that company hired local subcontractors in eastern Kentucky. Five crews totaling two dozen people are clearing trails and roads in the gorge and other parts of Daniel Boone's Cumberland Ranger District. Two crews with a total of eight people, some using chain saws, are clearing damage from a February wind storm from the Redbird Crest Trail in the Boone's Redbird Ranger District. But because of rules governing a nationally designated wilderness, no motorized vehicles or tools may be used to clear trails that cross the Clifty Wilderness, a 13,000-acre part of the Red River Gorge. For Hess and his employees, the work can be backbreaking as they saw through thick red oak trunks. But the men are all from Menifee County, where one in five people is unemployed. And, while the men need the money, Hess said, it's also about restoring an area where they grew up and still use to ride horses. There's also the larger economic picture. Hess's father runs a horse camp, and already people are calling from distant places, trying to make summer plans and wondering if the trails will be open. ‘This part of the forest holds a great interest for tourists and for our local merchants and our community because a lot of people come to visit this area,’ he said. ‘This is an important project to a lot of people.’" [AP, 4/18/09]
Kentucky Gov. Beshear Announced Creation Of A Car Battery Manufacturing Facility That Will Bring In An Estimated $600 Million In Investments And Create Nearly 2,000 Jobs. "Gov. Steve Beshear announced Monday that Kentucky will be the site of a car battery manufacturing and headquarters facility that could bring an investment of more than $600 million and create nearly 2,000 jobs. The National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Batteries has chosen a 1,551 acre site near Glendale, about 50 miles south of Louisville, as the site for a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant. However, the project is dependent upon the Alliance receiving an unspecified amount of federal funding. The Alliance is a not-for-profit industry consortium of more than 50 corporations, associations and research institutions that is trying to make the United States a world leader in manufacturing the batteries." [McClatchy News, 4/13/09]
Stimulus Funds Will Allow Knox County Schools To Rehire 34 Teachers And Prevent The Shortening Of Their School Days. "Thanks in large part to an influx of federal stimulus dollars, Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre said Monday he has revised his budget proposal to do away with the prospect of later high school start times and he has restored more than 30 teaching jobs that had been cut…Under the new budget, 34 teaching jobs will be restored out of 60-plus that McIntyre had eliminated. Also, three of 38 slashed custodial positions will be restored as well as one nursing position…Officials had also proposed later start times for some high schools as a way to decrease transportation costs…McIntyre said the subject of later start times — which had caused some consternation among parents and students — is off the table for this year but that the discussion might be resurrected at a later date…Much of the improved budget scenario stems from the millions of federal dollars that are flowing to Tennessee as part of President Barack Obama’s economic rescue plan, McIntyre said." [Knox News, 4/14/09]
Transit and Housing Projects in Louisville Funded by the Stimulus Are Expected to Create More Than 200 Jobs. "TARC is getting a $17.7 million boost from the massive federal stimulus package to help it go green -- creating hundreds of jobs in the process. The money will buy the Transit Authority of River City 10 hybrid buses and build a maintenance annex behind Union Station featuring solar heat, recycled water and roof vegetation. Mayor Jerry Abramson will announce today that the projects are being paid for with the first chunk of stimulus money the city is receiving. In addition, the Housing Authority of Louisville is getting two projects funded with stimulus money -- $2 million to replace underground lead pipes at Beecher Terrace and $150,000 to repaint Dosker Manor. Chris Poynter, a spokesman for Abramson, said the city has tried for years to get money to replace the lead pipes… ‘These are exciting projects that will not only put people to work, but will leave our city's environment greener,’ Abramson said. Abramson said the initial TARC and Housing Authority projects should create more than 200 jobs -- most of them short-term construction work in Louisville." [Courier-Journal, 3/12/09]
Stimulus Money for Kentucky Health Centers Is Expected to Create or Save 77 Jobs. "The Obama administration announced the release yesterday of two more batches of federal stimulus money -- for airport improvements and community health-care centers… The money will go to 19 federally qualified health centers in Kentucky, which will use the funds to create or save about 77 jobs at those facilities over the next two years. The aid will provide care for an additional 38,209 Kentuckians during that period, according to the department." [Courier-Journal, 3/28/09]
State Rep.: Stimulus-Funded Parking Garage Project in Owensboro Will Probably Save 50 Construction Jobs and Will Facilitate Downtown Redevelopment."Governor Steve Beshear announced on Thursday $3.4 million in stimulus money will complete the final two floors of a downtown [Owensboro] parking garage. ‘This is really important for our community,’ said State Rep. Tommy Thompson… ‘Elsewhere in Kentucky, I can tell you what’s going on here in Owensboro and Daviess County is the buzz,’ Beshear said. ‘It’s an exciting thing that’s happening here. The revitalization of downtown is at the forefront of conversations in other areas.’ The new garage will add 200 parking spaces in the heart of the downtown revitalization plans… Local leaders said projects like this are exactly what the stimulus money is for. ‘This is a project that is ready to go,’ said Thompson. Thompson went on to say, ‘It’s probably going to save 50 construction jobs that otherwise would have been lost so it’ll put those people back to work. That money will be spent in our community. We’ll be giving people local jobs and the result will be an asset.’" [14WFIE.com, 3/19/09]
Kentucky Will Receive Funding For Airports and Community Health Centers. "Blue Grass Airport in Lexington is slated to receive almost $2 million for installation of runway lighting, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced. ‘This administration is committed to getting the U.S. economy going again, and these grants are a part of making that happen,’ LaHood said in a statement… Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it was releasing $5.1 million for expanding services at community health centers in Kentucky. Indiana will receive $4.9 million. The money will go to 19 federally qualified health centers in Kentucky, which will use the funds to create or save about 77 jobs at those facilities over the next two years. The aid will provide care for an additional 38,209 Kentuckians during that period, according to the department. Two Louisville centers are among the 19: Family Health Center, which will get $819,587, and Park DuValle Community Health Center, which will get $421,230." [Louisville Courier-Journal, 3/28/09]
Georgetown-Scott County Airport Will Receive Funds to Resurface Its Runway. "Georgetown-Scott County Airport will receive $3.5 million in stimulus funds to rehabilitate its runway. The funds were announced Wednesday by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood as part of $10 million Kentucky will receive under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. ‘Our present runway was put in use in 1993 so it does have some age, wear and tear and cracking,’ Jim Calloway, airport board chairman, said. ‘We will be resurfacing the runway. It is a shovel-ready project and will be ready to go to bid May 1.’" [Georgetown News-Graphic, 4/11/09]