To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re:The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Washington 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 Washington in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON WASHINGTON
- Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $1.3 billion back in the pockets of more than 2.5 million hard-working Washington families.
- $33,351,204 to support child care for working families.
- $56,099,900 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
- $59,545,074 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
- $60,944,000 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.
- $1,444,650,920 potentially available to Washington 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 Centers, which will serve an estimated 5,800 patients and create a projected 45 jobs.
- $10,637,819 to expand services at 25 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 72,034 patients and create or save a projected 161 jobs.
- $1,920,131 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
- $339,330,717 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.
- $3,925,418 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
- $492,242,337 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
- $179,046,604 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
- More than $36.7 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 WASHINGTON
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
Washington’s Intermountain West Insulation Company Will Likely Use Stimulus Funds To Rehire 10 Workers As The Demand For Weatherizing Homes Increases. "Intermountain West Insulation began feeling the pinch of the nation's recession in September. The company, which does the majority of the Benton-Franklin Community Action Committee's weatherization work, had to lay off 10 employees to adjust to the slower economy. ‘By and large, people just aren't spending the money they did six or eight months ago,’ said Dean Moody, company president…But now Moody is eagerly awaiting the arrival of about $1.4 million in federal stimulus money that's destined for the CAC to be used over the next three years on weatherization projects. With the influx of money, Moody is hoping to at least fill the 10 positions he had to eliminate…" [The News Tribune, 4/14/09]
Jobs and Better Pavement: Federal Government’s Economic Stimulus Efforts are Bringing Both to a Worn Stretch of Interstate 82 "Jobs and better pavement. The federal government's economic stimulus efforts are bringing both to a worn stretch of Interstate 82 between Grandview and Granger. The pavement-improvement project went to bid today, the first contract being administered by the state Department of Transportation to take that step so far in Yakima County. The work will cost about $11.4 million and support an estimated 100 jobs, transportation officials said. The project is designed to strengthen the pavement in the westbound lanes of the Grandview-Granger section, which is known for its thumpy ride in spots…The work will take about 14 weeks and is expected to start in roughly two months. Transportation officials say the project would not have been possible without the federal funding. It was not considered a high-priority problem, but qualified for the money because it could be ‘shovel-ready’ within 90 to 180 days, DOT spokesman Mike Westbay said." [Yakima Herald-Republic (WA), 4/20/09]
Hanford Will Receive $1.96 Billion To Create Or Save 4,000 Jobs. "Hanford will receive $1.96 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, possibly by the end of the week. That will be enough money to create or save 4,000 jobs, said Dave Brockman, manager of the Department of Energy Richland Operations Office. About 250 workers who were close to being laid off now can retain their jobs, he said…Officials had been expecting Hanford to receive close to $2 billion under the recovery act, and Energy Secretary Steven Chu confirmed that Tuesday. He announced $6 billion would be spent on Department of Energy environmental cleanup work in 12 states by Sept. 30, 2011, the end of fiscal 2011…The money will have a huge impact on speeding up cleanup and protection of ground water, work to reduce the contaminated portion of Hanford to 75 square miles at its center by 2015 and work to clean up central Hanford, he said. The money going to Hanford includes $1.635 billion for the DOE Hanford Richland Operations Office, one of two DOE offices in charge of Hanford cleanup." [Mid Columbia Tri City Herald, 4/1/09]
Stimulus-Funded Cleanup of the Hanford Site Will Create 4,000 Jobs. "The Hanford site is getting ready to shift its cleanup into high gear -- thanks to more stimulus money. Nearly $2,000,000,000 will go to speeding up the cleanup out at the area. To do that, you need more bodies- translation- more jobs that will put 4,000 people to work over the next few years, and these aren't just techie jobs. ‘We're recruiting all the way from college grads to personnel without prior experience and all the way through experienced, who not just have nuclear experience, but maybe some experience in the energy complex,’ said Washington River Protection President Bill Johnson." [KEPRTV.com, 4/1/09]
Recovery Act Will Help Upgrade Washington Lab, Fund Energy Projects. "The Department of Energy Office of Science plans to send $124 million in stimulus money to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Monday. Much of the money will be used to buy scientific equipment for complex research projects. In addition some will be spent on contracts to prepare buildings for the equipment and to make three PNNL buildings more energy efficient…The money allocated to PNNL and eight other national labs ‘should help aggressively move forward projects that will be critical to the country's energy security and global competitiveness,’ said PNNL director Mike Kluse in a message to employees. The new equipment will help cement PNNL's reputation in certain fields and bring research work to the Tri-Cities that otherwise would go elsewhere, said Greg Koller, PNNL spokesman." [News Tribune, 3/24/09]
Walla Walla VA Center Will Receive $3.1 Million in Stimulus Funds For Upgrades. "The Jonathan M. Wainwright VA Medical Center in Walla Walla will receive $3.1 million in stimulus funding to pay for improvements at the center, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced Friday. President Obama signed the bill into law Feb. 17. The money will help create jobs and provide for veterans, Murray said. Megan Streight, public affairs officer for the VA's Northwest Health Network, said the network hadn't received information about the stimulus money coming to the state's facilities. ‘That would be a wonderful thing,’ Streight said. ‘There's a variety of projects we would put that money to good use for.’" [Tacoma News-Tribune, 3/23/09]
Washington Governor Signed Bill Allocating $341 Million In Stimulus Funds To Fix Roads And Highways, Stated "This Is Coming At The Exact Right Time, Putting People Back To Work Who Would Otherwise Be On Unemployment." "Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill Thursday allocating $341 million in federal money to fix state roads and highways, saying the stimulus package will help create and continue thousands of jobs in the state within two years at a time when unemployment could be the highest ever. ‘This is coming at the exact right time, putting people back to work who would otherwise be on unemployment,’ said the governor at a signing ceremony for the measure in Olympia. The jobs will be created through projects financed by state gas-tax receipts as well as the federal stimulus money, approved by Congress last month in an effort to boost the sagging national economy. The first work, a $3 million paving project on Interstate 90 near Ellensburg, could begin in three weeks. Two more, lane additions and interchange improvements on Interstate 405 in Bellevue and north of Bothell, together worth an estimated $70 million, also are expected to begin work this summer, the governor's office said." [Seattle Post Intelligencer, 3/5/09]
Approximately 80 Jobs Could Be Created In Selah, Washington, If Recovery Act Funds Are Received For Speyers Road Project. "The City of Selah plans to improve Speyers Road with the help of some federal stimulus money. Not only is it an important route for farm to market, Speyers road intersects residential neighborhoods yet, has few sidewalks. Public Works Director Joe Henne said the project will create around 80 jobs. Creating jobs is one of the main criteria for federal funding. The Speyers Road project will receive around $1.5 million, once the governor's office gives the final okay." [KNDO-TV (Washington), 3/11/09]
Washington Company Advanced Energy Has Already Tripled its Workforce to Execute Weatherization Funded by Stimulus. "When Michael Kim’s company won a bid to replace lights and fans in King County Housing Authority units, he figured he might need to add a couple more employees to his team of seven. But it soon became clear that the housing authority would be getting federal stimulus money to make thousands more of its low-income homes energy-efficient. Kim’s Advanced Energy Management LLC, based in Federal Way, has tripled in size to 24 employees — a number of whom had been unemployed… At this point, all 24 employees are busy working full-time. And as more agencies start putting weatherization projects out for bid, Kim hopes to capture some of that business and expand further. One reason that Kim was able to grow so quickly is that finding qualified employees, even licensed electricians, was not difficult in the current economy. ‘I put out an ad (online) in Craigslist,’ he said, ‘and got 200 phone calls within the first hour." [Puget Sound Business Journal, 3/13/09]
Two Washington State Superfund Sites Will Receive A Total Of $15 Million In Stimulus Funds To Speed Up Cleanup; Funds Will Create Jobs And Remove Dangerous Chemicals From Local Communities. "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it will use a portion of $582 million in federal stimulus money to speed cleanup at two Superfund sites in Tacoma and on Bainbridge Island. Between $5 million and $10 million will be spent to remove contaminated soils from residential backyards and park areas within a mile of the former Asarco smelter along Tacoma's Commencement Bay. Another $5 million will be used to remove old wood-treating equipment and clean up groundwater at the Wyckoff-Eagle Harbor site on Bainbridge Island. The projects were among 50 hazardous sites in 28 states that got federal stimulus money. EPA officials said the money removes dangerous chemicals from communities while creating jobs. ‘We have not seen this kind of money before,’ said Dan Opalski, who directs the EPA's environmental cleanup office in Seattle. Work could begin this summer, he added. In north Tacoma and Ruston, the EPA will use the money to dig up and replace arsenic- and lead-contaminated soil, the fallout of more than a century of smelter operations. ‘We're really excited about the opportunity to put this money into play to finish off that yard work,’ Opalski said. About 2,300 yards, park areas and right-of-ways in the area have been cleaned up since soil sampling began in 1993." [Seattle Times, 4/16/09]
Bellingham Airport Will Receive $3.3 Million in Stimulus Funding To Repave Runways Damaged By Heavier Jets. "Bellingham International Airport will get $3.3 million in federal stimulus money for repaving ramps and taxiways, Port of Bellingham Aviation Director Art Choat said. The money appropriated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is being directed to Bellingham from the Federal Aviation Administration, Choat said. Engineering plans for much of the paving work had been prepared in 2008, but the money to pour the concrete was not immediately available. The port will take bids on the work and get the repaving under way in the next few months. Choat said the airport pavement needs work because of the wear and tear caused by the increasing number of MD-80 jets operated here by Allegiant Air, a vacation-oriented Las Vegas-based carrier that has managed to expand and turn a profit while nearly all of the larger airlines cut service amid mounting losses." [Bellingham Herald, 3/25/09]