To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Mississippi 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 Mississippi in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON MISSISSIPPI
- Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $500 million back in the pockets of more than 1.1 million hard-working Mississippi families.
- $30,983,387 to support child care for working families.
- $16,974,600 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
- $49,421,193 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
- $40,418,000 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.
- $798,449,778 potentially available to Mississippi 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 1 new Community Health Center, which will serve an estimated 9,340 patients and create a projected 70 jobs.
- $6,271,192 to expand services at 21 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 45,400 patients and create or save a projected 95 jobs.
- $890,682 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
- $137,061,351 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.
- $1,712,939 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
- $354,564,343 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
- $25,466,306 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
- More than $4.8 million to address airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.
- More than $18.3 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 MISSISSIPPI
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
Stimulus Funds Will Help Open Three Health Care Clinics in Mississippi, Creating an Estimated 70 Jobs. "A $1.3 million federal health care grant issued to Pearl-based Family Health Care Clinic makes it one of the first organizations in the state to benefit from the recently signed stimulus bill. The money will help open three health care clinics in southwest Mississippi, creating an estimated 70 jobs, including about 30 full-time positions. Margaret Gray, chief executive for Family Health Care Clinic in Pearl, said the money should roll in within a matter of days. Gray says once in hand, the clinics should be open within 90 to 120 days. The new clinics will be in Lincoln, Franklin and Wilkinson counties. Family Health Care Clinic operates 14 clinics in 10 counties. The clinics provide primary health care, dental care and nutrition services to low-income and uninsured individuals." [Associated Press, 3/9/09]
Head of Mississippi Manufacturers Association Said Stimulus funds for Job Training Would Be Very Valuable. "Mississippi officials hope to parlay $44.3 million earmarked for training programs in the economic stimulus package into job opportunities for the state's residents…Roughly $22 million will go toward helping displaced workers and other adults seeking assistance and training for finding new jobs. One potential use could be in helping the state's WIN Job Centers enhance their on-the-job training programs, in which employers are reimbursed up to 50 percent of a new hire's wages for up to six months. Broadening work-force training is essential in a time of economic volatility, said Larry Anderson, director of human resources for the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District. ‘(The unemployed) find themselves not necessarily qualified’ for many types of jobs, he said. The stimulus funding also could help the state continue to divert money intended for a statewide unemployment trust fund to training programs. On average, about $21 million annually has been diverted to those programs in the last three to four years, said Jay Moon, president and CEO of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association. Training funds would cease if the unemployment trust fund dips to $500 million. Moon estimates with rising unemployment and increased benefit payments that could hit the mark by 2011. ‘It's going to be very valuable’ to have the stimulus money as an additional funding source, Moon said." [Gannett, 3/22/09]
Old Highway 49, One of Richland’s ‘Key Arteries,’ Will Be Improved with Federal Stimulus Dollars. "Old Highway 49 in Richland is one of 13 Rankin County roads that will be improved with federal stimulus dollars. The highway is one of the city's key arteries, and once the state begins widening U.S. 49 to six lanes, it will be an important road, Mayor Mark Scarborough said. ‘We'll be ready for that additional traffic when it comes,’ Scarborough said. The city is one of five Rankin County government bodies that will receive money from the $3.1 million in stimulus money dedicated to the county." [The Clarion-Ledger, 4/20/09]
Former Federal Railroad Administrator, A Lifelong Republican, Praised High-Speed Rail Funding In Stimulus Bill. "Gil Carmichael was as happy as a kid in a candy store that President Obama put $9.3 billion for high-speed rail transportation and upgrading Amtrak into the $785 billion economic recovery package. Carmichael, otherwise a Meridian businessman and former Republican leader, for 20 years since he served as Federal Railroad Administrator has been preaching a vision of a vastly expanded national system of passenger rail transportation he calls ‘Interstate II.’ His name for the rail system connotes it as the nation s second major transportation step from ‘Interstate I,’ the 43,000-mile four-lane network of paved highways President Eisenhower launched 50 years ago. In the Obama recovery package is $8 billion for some 30,000 miles of inter-city high-speed rail transportation and $1.3 billion for Amtrak whose ridership has risen since gas hit $4. The high-speed rail system would significantly benefit all states, even a rural state like Mississippi, as Carmichael will explain in a moment. He praised Obama s inclusion of the rail system in his package: ‘President Obama clearly understands this necessary new approach to meeting 21st century transportation needs.’ Parenthetically, Carmichael, who was made the nation s railroad administrator by the older President Bush, pointed out he could never get the younger Bush interested in railroads…The 81-year-old Carmichael (who has founded a masters degree intermodal transportation institute at the University of Denver) says the nation because of economic volatility and the need to achieve energy independence will be forced in the 21st century to adopt a new lifestyle that includes economical, environmentally sustainable transportation. ‘Our nation urgently needs a new vision for its outmoded transportation system and the president s new policy is a step in the right direction,’ he said. Obama s ambitious rail transportation program in the $785 recovery package, beyond urgent relief for the nation s overburdened highway system, will mean thousands of jobs. ‘It will create huge numbers of needed jobs and stimulate economic growth,’ Carmichael said. And if Obama offered to appoint him Federal Railroad Administrator, would Gil take it? In a New York minute." [Biloxi Sun-Herald, 3/12/09]
Stimulus Funds Will Provide At Least 50 Mississippi Youth With Summer Jobs As Part Of Long Unfunded Workforce Program. "At least 50 young people will have the chance to earn up to $2,000 this summer as part of the Summer Youth Program, a federally funded program overseen by Three Rivers Planning and Development District. The workforce training funds are part of economic stimulus monies being funneled to Mississippi. The 50 slots are open to young people aged 14 to 24.’Most of the time they have worked in public courthouses and on road crews picking up litter,’ Vernon R. Kelley, III Three Rivers Planning and Development District, Inc., executive director, told members of the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors Wednesday. Bill Renick WIA division director said the Summer Youth Program hasn't been funded in more than 10 years." [DeSoto Times Tribune, 4/8/09]
WAPT (staff written) "Pearl's Family Health Care Center To Receive $1.3M": A Pearl health care center has been chosen to receive a large stimulus grant designed to help low-income families. President Barack Obama on Monday announced that health care centers across the nation have won the stimulus grants. The list includes the Family Health Care Center in Pearl, which is slated to receive $1.3 million. The Health Resources and Services Administration provided 1,100 grants to improve preventive care in low-income communities. LINK