To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for New Mexico 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 New Mexico in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON NEW MEXICO
- Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $400 million back in the pockets of more than 700,000 hard-working New Mexico families.
- $17,816,534 to support child care for working families.
- $20,608,300 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
- $26,855,604 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
- $31,821,000 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.
- 537,047,803 dollars potentially available to New Mexico 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.
- $4,945,441 to expand services at 15 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 25,058 patients and create or save a projected 81 jobs.
- $601,480 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
- $95,239,707 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.
- $1,089,701 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
- $252,644,377 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
- $27,749,995 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
- 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 NEW MEXICO
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
Stimulus Funds Enabled Water Commission to Hire 300 Workers to Improve Levees, Reducing Dona Ana Residents’ Flood Insurance Payments in Long-Term."U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and Congressman Harry Teague, both D-N.M., on Monday toured deficient river levees in Doña Ana County that will be upgraded with an estimated $72 million from the federal economic stimulus bill. They stopped briefly at sites near the Picacho Avenue bridge and Mesilla Dam, where work to build up the height and solidify the levee structure is already under way using dollars appropriated before the stimulus bill. Udall and Teague said 300 new jobs will be created during the construction with stimulus money. ‘The end result is not only going to be a positive impact on the economy, but we're going to save people from having to buy flood insurance for their homes,’ Teague said. ‘It's building up the infrastructure in something that we're going to need for years to come.’… The deficient levees along the Rio Grande have prompted properties throughout the county to be reclassified as high-risk flood areas. As a result, most homeowners who have mortgages will be forced to buy flood insurance, which can cost hundreds of dollars per year. Levee repairs resulting from the stimulus bill funding should begin around September and wrap up in January 2011, said Bill Ruth, commissioner for the International Boundary and Water Commission, the federal agency that oversees the levees. ‘This stimulus package will allow us to get this work done that probably would have taken us almost 20 years of funding through the normal process,’ he said. ‘But this money will allow us to get this done in the next 18 months, so it's a very positive impact for the local community.’" [Las Cruces Sun-News, 4/14/09]
New Mexico’s State Arts Agency Received $297,000 in Funding from the Recovery Act – Will Hire a State Public Art Contractor and Provide 15 to 20 Grants Across the State to Preserve Arts Jobs and Pay for Artists’ Fees. "Nonprofit arts organizations can get a slice of the federal stimulus pie, thanks to funds awarded to New Mexico Arts. The state arts agency, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, received $297,000 in funds from the National Endowment for the Arts under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). A total of $247,000 will be awarded to nonprofit arts organizations in New Mexico through grants. Nonprofit arts organizations may apply for an arts jobs grant for up to $20,000 in salary support for ‘an endangered arts job,’ or up to $7,500 to pay for artists’ fees or contractors. Priority will be given to arts organizations that serve underserved populations, especially in rural New Mexico, said Loie Fecteau, executive director of New Mexico Arts. ‘We expect to be able to give out between 15 and 20 of these arts jobs grants,’ she said. The NEA also approved plans by New Mexico Arts to use $44,000 of the ARRA funds to hire a state public art contractor, and $6,000 to cover arts jobs administrative costs, including a peer panel to review arts jobs grants applications." [New Mexico Business Weekly, 4/14/09]
New Mexico, Texas Using Stimulus Funds to Repair Clinic, Air Force Base, Create Jobs. "Military facilities in El Paso and New Mexico will receive nearly $36 million in federal funding for a variety of projects expected to stimulate the regional economy, lawmakers announced Monday. ‘These funds will provide much-needed and long-overdue repairs to the El Paso VA clinic and Fort Bliss National Cemetery and will help create jobs right here in our community,’ U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said in a statement. ‘These funds are supporting critical projects and programs that will help local workers and their families during this difficult time.’ The money is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is meant to stimulate the nation's sagging economy. Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo will receive about $21 million, mostly for repair of runway ramps and hangars. White Sands Missile Range, in New Mexico just north of the Texas state line, will receive about $11 million for range road repair, roof repair, road lighting and rehabilitating a water well… The El Paso Veterans Affairs Health Care System will receive $2.7 million for repairs, modernization and energy efficiency projects. Fort Bliss National Cemetery will receive $1.2 million for repairing roads and curbs, and for improving the storm drainage system." [El Paso Times, 3/24/09]
Cannon Air Force Base Receives $26.4 Million in Stimulus Funding For Military Facilities and Families. "Cannon Air Force Base is set to receive $26.4 million from the federal economic stimulus package. Capt. Mae-Li Allison of Cannon Public Affairs said $12 million would go to a new Child Development Center, $12.8 million was earmarked for facility improvements and $1.7 million was headed to family housing work. The money comes from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. ‘It’s definitely improving the quality of life for our airmen and their families,’ she said. According to a document on Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s Web site, the Child Development Center is scheduled to be finished in 2011." [Clovis News Journal, 3/23/09]
Las Cruces International Airport Will Receive $11.37 In Stimulus Funds To Rebuild The 1.5 Mile Runway. "A nearly total reconstruction of the longest runway at the Las Cruces International Airport will be completed later this year, thanks to $11.37 million in federal economic stimulus funding the city is about to receive. The money will be used to rebuild Runway 12-30, with construction anticipated to begin in late June or early July. The project is expected to take eight months to complete. ‘This is a very big deal," airport manager Lisa Murphy said. ‘From what I understand the runway is more than 40 years old and it's showing its age. In some areas it was built on top of dirt, and it's been wearing away. It's the only runway we have that is available for precision instrument approach, so these improvements are very, very important.’ Assistant City Manager Robert Garza added that use of Runway 12-30 has been extensive in recent years. ‘It has been in rather poor condition for the past five years, but has been functional,’ Garza said. ‘When Runway 4-22 had to be closed, because of damages caused when President Bush came to Las Cruces (in 2004) for a campaign visit, Runway 12-30 was really the only serviceable runway we had at the airport. Receiving this kind of investment is awfully important to our airport.’" [Las Cruces Sun-News, 3/23/09]
Recovery Act Funding Will Help Renovate "Highway To Hell" Running Through Navajo Nation. "The state of New Mexico has awarded contracts for four highway reconstruction projects to be funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Gov. Bill Richardson said this week. Construction on the projects, worth a total of nearly $50 million, is scheduled to start within 30 days. Among the projects is U.S. 491, the main north-south thoroughfare through the New Mexico portion of the Navajo Nation. The highway, which has earned a variety of notorious nicknames, is among the most dangerous in the United States. Construction began on the road formerly called U.S. 666, or the ‘Highway to Hell,’ almost a year ago. The ground-breaking ceremony occurred last May, signaling a $100 million collaboration between the state and the Navajo Nation to widen the two-lane corridor to four lanes. The agreement came after a nearly four-year struggle over rights-of-way and state funding. A compromise calling for the Nation to contribute $10 million in cash and in-kind donations was reached in January 2008, just months before construction began. Stimulus money, however, will not be used for the widening project. The state Department of Transportation awarded $8.9 million for rehabilitation of a portion of the two-lane highway, spokesman S.U. Mahesh said." [Daily Times, 4/10/09]
Recovery Act Will Help Fund Renovations Including Conservation Measures And Disability Access At Veterans’ Administrations Around New Mexico. "The state says more than $5 million will go to Veterans’ Administration projects around New Mexico. The announcement, from Gov. Richardson’s office, detailed several rounds of federal stimulus funds coming to the state. The Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque will receive $4.8 million. Of that, $1.1 million will be spent on implementing conservation measures and systems at the facility and $500,000 will go for improving handicapped parking. Another $640,000 will be used to replace fuel storage tanks for the center’s emergency generators. The Santa Fe National Cemetery will get $570,000 for road paving and curb replacement and $75,000 has been allocated to repair cracks in the Columbaria structure at the site. The Ft. Bayard National Cemetery in Grant County will receive $16,000 for the purchase of equipment." [New Mexico Business Weekly, 4/13/09]
Recovery Act Will Help Fund Expanded Immunizations And Intervention Services For Young Children. "New Mexico will receive almost $1.1 million from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its immunization program. The state Department of Health also is to compete for additional immunization funds once the state gets more guidance on those funds from the federal government. The Department of Health plans to use the money to expand the number of children, adolescents and adults immunized, improve access and capabilities of the immunization registry and continue to education the public about vaccines. The Department plans to provide more immunization clinics in alternative sites, increase the number of schools that participate in flu vaccination clinics, assist rural providers in gaining better access to the immunization registry and conduct outreach education on vaccine safety. New Mexico will also receive $2.9 million from the U.S. Department of Education over the next two years to provide services to 800 more families in the Department of Health’s Family, Infant and Toddler Program, or FIT. The funding will most likely generate about 30 development specialists and therapy jobs. The FIT Program provides comprehensive early intervention services, including developmental, speech, physical and occupational therapy, social work and nutrition to 11,000 children up to age three who are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities and to their families." [New Mexico Business Weekly, 4/13/09]
New Mexico Will Receive Nearly $50 Million In Federal Stimulus Money For Affordable Housing, Housing Renovation, And Building Improvement, "New Mexico will receive nearly $50 million in federal stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has allocated nearly 75 percent of its funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act…New Mexico's share of the money will be used to build affordable housing, improve public buildings and renovate public housing, including making it more energy-efficient. The money will go to the state, local communities and Indian tribes. The money - part of $10.1 billion handed out nationwide from HUD - was announced in a news release from HUD on Sunday…The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority in Albuquerque will receive $13.8 million to kick-start the production of stalled affordable rental housing projects that rely on low-income housing tax credits. Many such projects have been stalled due to fallout from the national economic crisis and credit crunch. Thirty-seven cities, towns and counties in New Mexico will receive $9.3 million to modernize and make large-scale improvements to public housing developments. HUD will provide $6.8 million to 21 tribes to modernize housing maintained by Native American housing programs. To help house New Mexico's homeless people, the state will get nearly $6.8 million and Albuquerque will be allocated $1.8 million. New Mexico also received nearly $5.6 million for 30 contracts for Section 8 project-based housing contracts. The state and five cities - Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe - will receive a total of $5.6 million in community development block grants for their local development priorities." [AP, 3/2/09]
Portales Medical Facility Will Receive Funding To Treat Needy. "A Portales medical facility will soon be almost $300,000 richer. The money comes from the federal stimulus package. La Casa De Buena Salud, Inc. is set to receive $294,533. New Mexico Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall were behind the push to get several community health centers some stimulus money. They say those centers provide health care to people who would otherwise have to go without it and that this will ensure they get the help they need." [News Channel 10, 3/30/09]