To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for West Virginia 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 West Virginia in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON WEST VIRGINIA
- Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $300 million back in the pockets of more than 700,000 hard-working West Virginia families.
- $13,047,215 to support child care for working families.
- $14,003,800 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
- $37,583,874 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
- $32,746,000 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.
- $438,130,837 potentially available to West Virginia 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.
- $1,150,532 to fund 1 new Community Health Centers, which will serve an estimated 5,940 patients and create a projected 45 jobs.
- $6,672,135 to expand services at 29 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 55,852 patients and create or save a projected 169 jobs.
- $680,092 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
- $76,479,599 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.
- $1,081,814 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
- $210,852,204 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
- $18,675,475 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
- $9 million to address airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.
- More than $13.1 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 WEST VIRGINIA
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin Signed Legislation That Will Release Nearly $300 Million In Federal Stimulus Money To Dozens Of State Agencies. "About $300 million in federal stimulus money will be released to West Virginia's economy. On Friday, Gov. Joe Manchin signed legislation that divides $293.6 million to dozens of agencies. According to published reports, $126 million will benefit Medicaid, foster care, child support enforcement, food stamp and independent living programs. The state Department will receive $72 million and more than $35 million will go to projects from the Department of Environmental Protection. The Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, the Crime Victims Compensation Fund and Public Transit are also expected to receive part of the stimulus money." [WTRF, 4/18/09]
$4 Million in Stimulus Funding Will Rehabilitate a Dam in Keyser, Extending Its Life by 50 Years and Creating 16 Jobs. "Federal stimulus funding will benefit the city of Keyser with $4.05 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money to rehabilitate the New Creek Site 14 dam. ‘The project in West Virginia is along the Potomac (River) and New Creek,’ U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a teleconference Monday. ‘It is about a $6 million project. It will provide water for the city of Keyser. It should create about 16 jobs installing a new riser, spillway pipe, impact basin and some drainage system work. It should extend the life of the dam for another 50 years.’" [Cumberland Times-News, 4/7/09]
"Stimulus Scholarships" Available for Job Training in West Virginia. "While unemployment rates in southern West Virginia continue to rise, new job training options are now available to assist those who are unemployed, officials said Tuesday. Federal stimulus dollars are now available to assist those who are unemployed or underemployed with training at local community colleges and vocational centers, Melissa Aguilar, executive director of Region 1 Workforce West Virginia, said. Aguilar said area training centers include Bluefield State College and the McDowell County Career and Technical Center in Welch. ‘The recovery act funds have come in, and we have funding available now for training opportunities for West Virginia citizens,’ Aguilar said. ‘If an individual has been for example laid off, they would automatically be eligible for training dollars we have available.’ Aguilar said residents can inquire about stimulus scholarship dollars at their local Workforce West Virginia offices. ‘It could be up to $5,000 worth of training,’ she said. ‘I can tell you in many years past, we have traditionally ran out of funds because there has been such an overwhelming response because of the number of individuals who need funds to go to school. Through the stimulus package the president has passed, those funds have now come down to the state office to able to assist individuals with going to school.’" [Bluefield Daily Telegraph (WV), 4/14/09]
- Bluefield Daily Telegraph Editorial Praised Stimulus-Funded Job Training Programs. "More help is now available for residents of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia who are unemployed or underemployed. Federal stimulus dollars to help unemployed and underemployed residents of southern West Virginia have now been released by the state. The federal funding will help those individuals learn new job training skills through local community colleges and vocational centers, including Bluefield State College. In Virginia, state officials are opening ‘Unemployment Express Offices’ to serve displaced workers across the Commonwealth. The state also has formed an Economic Crisis Strike Force to coordinate a state-wide response to the growing number of unemployed in the Commonwealth." [Editorial, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, 4/17/09]
Charleston Daily Mail: WVA receives $18.7 million in mass transit funds West Virginia's $18.7 million share of public transportation funds from the federal economic stimulus package has been released to the state. Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall said Thursday that $10 million is earmarked for rural transit projects. Another $8.3 million is designated for urban projects. LINK
West Virginia Will Receive $1.6 Million In Stimulus Funds To Clean Up Leaks From Underground Tankers To Ensure That Groundwater, Which Many West Virginians Rely On For Drinking Water, Is Safe. "United States Senators Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va., along with Congressman Nick Rahall, W.Va.-3, today announced that West Virginia is slated to receive more than $1,643,000 in federal funding as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The monies will be distributed through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of a $197 million spending program across the country… The funds will be used for overseeing the assessment and cleanup of leaks from underground storage tanks or directly paying for assessment and cleanup of leaks from federally regulated tanks where the responsible party is unknown, unwilling, unable, or the clean up is an emergency response. ‘Many West Virginia families rely on groundwater as a source of their safe drinking water,’ said Byrd. ‘This funding will help to eliminate the backlog of more than 950 underground tank clean-up projects in West Virginia. And through this funding we will both create jobs and improve the health and safety of West Virginia communities.’ ‘The protection of West Virginia's drinking water is essential. West Virginia families should be able to trust that the water coming from their faucet is safe," said Senator Rockefeller." [US Fed News, 4/10/09]
WOWK-TV: "President Obama and Senators Byrd and Rockefeller Announce Funds for Health Clinic in W. Va." Acting to strengthen the health care safety net for the growing number of Americans in need, President Barack Obama, Senator Robert Byrd and Senator John Rockefeller Monday announced the release of $1,150,532 authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that will support a health center in West Virginia. The health center will help people in need -- many with no health insurance -- obtain access to the comprehensive primary and preventive health care services, and create 45 jobs in the mountain state. The health center that will receive support in West Virginia is Belington Medical Services Assoc. in Belington. LINK