To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Maryland 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 Maryland in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON MARYLAND
- Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $ 1.1 billion back in the pockets of more than 2.1 million hard-working Maryland families.
- $24,040,405 to support child care for working families.
- $52,295,100 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
- $61,441,745 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
- $51,772,000 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.
- $1,290,507,156 potentially available to Maryland 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.
- $4,253,584 to expand services at 16 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 34,347 patients and create or save a projected 79 jobs.
- $1,657,226 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
- $275,508,598 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.
- $3,821,205 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
- $ 431,034,777 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
- $ 179,262,087 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
- More than $43.8 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 MARYLAND
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
Maryland Community Health Clinic That Was Set to Close Due to Financial Troubles Will Remain Open Thanks to Stimulus Funding. "In one of the world's most advanced medical systems and one of America's wealthiest states, [Deborah] Foerter and her clinic are a lifeline for hundreds of poor and working-class residents of Nanjemoy, an isolated peninsula in rural southwestern Charles County. Dozens of people here live without running water, some in unheated trailers or shacks, just 37 miles from Washington. There is no grocery store and no gas station, no Laundromat or restaurant. This spring, Foerter told them that the clinic's services almost certainly would be ending in the next few months. The recession has hit nonprofit health clinics hard. This one had lost $150,000 during each of the past 14 years, and other grants were drying up. The board of Greater Baden Medical Services, which runs the clinic tucked inside the Nanjemoy Community Center, decided it no longer could be sustained and voted to close it. And then, just as some patients had given up on the idea of affordable medical care within their reach, they received word of a small miracle: Two weeks ago, the federal government announced that all but a handful of the nation's health clinics would receive a total of $2 billion through the federal stimulus package. Greater Baden was awarded $270,372, enough to keep Nanjemoy Health Services open for two years. ‘The fact that someone stepped in and did something about the crisis that this was going to cause is reason for celebration,’ said Rick Campbell, a longtime patient who has multiple sclerosis… Greater Baden runs six other clinics in Prince George's and St. Mary's counties. If Nanjemoy closes, its patients would have to travel more than 30 miles to Oxon Hill, or 15 miles to an overcrowded clinic in La Plata, the closest facility that accepts Medicaid." [The Washington Post, 4/18/09]
Stimulus Funding of Baltimore Metro Renovations Expected To Support 600 Jobs. "The Maryland Transit Administration said Thursday it would spend $20 million in improvements to the Baltimore Metro Subway with funds from the federal stimulus package. The work will include overhauling train wheel assemblies and installing a new public address system at the city rail stations, the MTA said in a news release. ‘To create an environment where people choose transit, we must make the experience as reliable and customer-friendly as possible,’ Gov. Martin O’Malley said in a statement about the projects. The state Board of Public Works approved a $15.2 million contract to Hornell, N.Y.-based TTA Systems LLC to undertake the wheel assembly work. It approved a second contract for $4.1 million to International Display Systems Inc., of Dayton, Ohio, for the public address systems, which will feature new audio and electronic message signs to inform riders about delays, service updates and safety messages. The MTA expects the work will begin this summer but did not disclose a specific date. Combined, the projects are expected to support 600 jobs." [Baltimore Business Journal, 4/16/09]
BWI Project Will Be Built for $8 Million Less Than Originally Budgeted. "At Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport, a recent project to reconstruct the area around Piers C and D received six bids instead of the usual two or three. The result: The estimated $50 million project will be built for $8 million less than was budgeted, and the savings will be allocated to other projects." [Washington Post, 4/8/09]
Transportation Secretary LaHood Announced The First Contract Resulting From The Stimulus Package, Creating 60 Jobs In Montgomery County, Maryland. "The stimulus plan includes $27.6 billion for highways, $8.4 billion to improve bus, rail and other forms of public transportation and $8 billion for high-speed rail and intercity passenger lines. ‘The work begins today,’ resurfacing a highway in Montgomery County, Maryland, yielding 60 ‘good jobs, and that’s how were going to get the country back on its feet,’ Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said before Obama spoke." [Bloomberg, 3/3/09]
Silver Spring Construction Company Has Called Back 59 Workers It Laid Off & Hoping To Call Back 300 More Thanks To Stimulus-Funded Projects (WITH VIDEO). "In Silver Spring, Md., in the past two weeks, a construction company has called back 59 employees that they had laid off. The company is hoping to call back nearly 300 more. Its first project is repairing a Maryland road that hasn't been resurfaced in 17 years. ‘We actually have projects in every county in the state of Maryland that we're planning to fund with stimulus plans,’ said Neil Pedersen, Maryland highway administrator." [ABC News, 3/4/09]
Gov. O’Malley Announced Stimulus Funding Would Prevent Layoffs of 700 State Employees and Cuts to Education. "Federal economic recovery money will enable Maryland to avoid 700 state employee layoffs and cuts to an education fund designed to help areas where schooling costs more, Gov. Martin O'Malley said Friday. Mr. O'Malley, a Democrat, outlined about $720 million that is coming to Maryland for education over two years through the federal economic recovery measure signed by President Obama this week. Local jurisdictions also will receive $392 million in Title 1 and special-education money. The stimulus money more than makes up for the $69 million reduction in state aid that 16 Maryland school jurisdictions received in Mr. O'Malley's initial budget proposal last month, cuts that mostly affected Baltimore city and Prince George's County. ‘We are using these dollars for their intended purpose and that is for fiscal stabilization and to protect the education of our kids so that school systems throughout our state are not forced to lay off teachers in a tough recession,’ Mr. O'Malley said at a news conference." [Associated Press, 2/21/09]
Stimulus Money Directed Toward Maryland Community Health Centers Will Create or Save 79 Jobs. "Maryland will get $4.3 million to expand community health centers from the federal stimulus package… The funds for Maryland will be distributed to 16 health centers in Maryland that will create or retain 79 jobs over the next two years. Recipients will use the funds to expand services, add new providers and expand its hours of operations. Baltimore Medical System, a community health center with eight Greater Baltimore locations, will receive $572,000, CEO Jay Wolvovsky said. The centers will use the money to treat an additional 840 uninsured patients. The health centers currently service 11,000. The money will help it retain six jobs, including two physicians." [Baltimore Business Journal, 3/27/09]
Cumberland County, Maryland Will Receive Stimulus Funds To Create 400 Summer Jobs For High School And College Students. "Cumberland County officials announce a program creating 400 summer jobs for high school- and college-aged residents. As federal stimulus money moves out of our nation's capital, more and more of it comes to Cumberland County as the American Recovery and Reinvenstment [sic] Act funds this program. ‘Instead of bemoaning the economic circumstances that are facing us, the county is trying to take advantage of every opportunity,’ stated Cumberland County Freeholder Director Louis Maguzzu, ‘this is exactly the kind of program that the stimulus should be providing, an opportunity for young people to develop careers.’ The program will run for 8 weeks this summer and will create 400 jobs in the public sector." [NBC 40 Net, 4/13/09]
Maryland Will Use $638M in Stimulus Money for Road Repairs After Tabling $2.1B in Projects Due to Budget Crunch. "Maryland is taking the fix-it-first approach — and calls the $638 million it will receive in stimulus money most welcome, given that the state was forced to defer $2.1 billion worth of construction and repair projects when the economy soured. John D. Porcari, Maryland’s transportation secretary, said the state would quickly put some 10,000 people to work resurfacing dozens of roads, painting and repairing bridges and putting in guardrails. ‘It’s like maintaining your car: if you neglect the relatively easy periodic maintenance, you’re building up to a very big bill — and eventually replacing it,’ Mr. Porcari said. ‘Instead of having one or two or three megaprojects, we have literally dozens and dozens of projects in every corner of the state, which maximizes the ability of local firms to compete for them.’" [NY Times, 3/4/09]
First Stimulus Project Approved by the FHA Will Start this Week in Montgomery County. "The first stimulus project approved by the Federal Highway Administration is a $2.1 million road resurfacing and improvement project along New Hampshire Avenue in Montgomery County, state and federal officials said yesterday… Maryland officials said work would begin this week." [Baltimore Sun, 3/4/09]
Special Education and Low-Income Students Receive Millions For More Teachers and Expanded School Programs. "Of the $21.4 million in federal grants slated to come to MCPS in each of the next two years from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, $15.3 million will be targeted to special education and $6.1 million will support elementary schools highly impacted by poverty, also known as Title I schools. "The addition of the federal stimulus funds offers an opportunity to restore a number of budget initiatives that will help to strengthen teaching and learning for some of our most vulnerable students and expand some very key investments that we know work for students," said [Montgomery County Board of Education President Shirley] Brandman. "The budget process this year has been extraordinarily difficult, so it is helpful that we will be able to provide additional support in the classroom to meet the needs of our students." "This entire federal stimulus package has been about sparking economic recovery, in both the short term and the long run, and certainly one of the best ways to achieve both of these objectives is to make sound investments in our schools," said [MCPS Superintendent Jerry D] Weast. "This funding comes at a critical time for us, as we are serving more students who are living in poverty and with special needs. We will put every dollar to work on their behalf. We are extremely grateful to the President and Congress for providing this critical support." [Montgomery County Public Schools Press Release, 2/24/09]
First Repaving Project in the County Paid For by the Stimulus Bill Began; Twenty of the Workers Had Previously Been Laid Off. "The first repaving project in the country -- paid for by the federal stimulus bill -- is underway in Silver Spring, and it couldn't have come soon enough for Brian White of Aberdeen. ‘I was laid off in the early part of January, and because of this project, they brought me back and I’m glad to be back,’ White, 47, tells WTOP. The company in charge of the project is American Infrastructure. Sixty people are working on the project -- 20 of them had previously been laid off and are now back to work." [WTOP.com, 3/6/09]
Governor O’Malley Announced He Would Use Some Stimulus Funding for Community Colleges Which Have Seen Enrollment Increases as the Economy Has Declined. "Maryland is receiving more than $1 billion in federal stimulus money earmarked for education, and Gov. Martin O'Malley said yesterday he would use some of it to increase funding for community colleges and maintain the freeze on undergraduate tuition at state universities. The governor's initial budget for next year did not include an increase for community colleges, which are seeing thousands more students enroll to gain new skills to help them find jobs in the recession. But with the stimulus money, O'Malley is increasing state aid by 5 percent over the next two years. The funds are also helping Maryland pay for construction at universities, including a $34 million arts center at Bowie State University, a four-year institution that the governor and other officials visited yesterday. ‘When the economy goes down, more and more families turn to community colleges,’ O'Malley said during the appearance. Indeed, the colleges are reporting major enrollment increases. Winter session enrollment at the Community College of Baltimore County was up 21 percent over last year." [Baltimore Sun, 3/10/09]
Maryland’s New Hampshire Avenue Construction Project Has Received Significant National Attention; One Employee Who Was Called Back To Work Said, "It’s Wonderful. It’s Going To Create More Jobs. I Know I’m Happy." "When American Infrastructure won the contract to repave a section of New Hampshire Avenue, Bryan White, 47, of Aberdeen, was one of the employees who got the call to return to work. ‘It's wonderful,’ White said of the project, cited as the first in the nation under the $26.6 billion released by President Barack Obama from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to state and local governments to repair and build roadways and bridges. ‘It's going to create more jobs. I know I'm happy.’ White is usually laid off during the winter months due to the seasonal nature of his job, but with the economy in the tank and state and county governments cutting back on infrastructure work, he had feared that his layoff would be extended. ‘Now I'm getting caught up on bills,’ he said. ‘That's the big thing right now.’…As the first of the ‘shovel ready’ projects to be funded with the federal stimulus money, the New Hampshire Avenue workers have been visited by crews from Good Morning America and CNN, said project superintendent John Greenwald. ‘It's good for people to see where the money is going,’ Greenwald said. ‘The guys we have are great. It's good we have them back to work. American Infrastructure is like a big family, and it's good to get them back to work.’ The funds not only allowed the company to bring back 20 people who had been laid off to work on the project, it will repair a road badly in need of fixing, Greenwald said. The project will employ 60 people over the course of the contract. The project is expected to take until September." [Gazette.net (Maryland), 3/11/09]