To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Alaska 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 Alaska in the first three months of his administration.


Working Families:

  • Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $100 million back in the pockets of more than 300,000 hard-working Alaska families.
  • $4,036,095 to support child care for working families.


  • $13,969,700 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
  • $18,142,580 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
  • $28,232,000 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.


  • $198,772,653 potentially available to Alaska 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.

Health Care:

  • $1,300,000 to fund a new Community Health Center, which will serve an estimated 1,970 patients and create a projected 15 jobs.
  • $3,604,657 to expand services at 26 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 16,629 patients and create or save a projected 87 jobs.
  • $485,000 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
  • $41,574,129 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.
  • $539,313 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.


  • $175,461,487 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
  • $41,632,703 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
  • $57,165,000 to address airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.

Law Enforcement:

  • More than $9.6 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.


Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.

Department of Defense Plans to Spend Stimulus Funds on 151 Repair and Upgrade Projects in Alaska. "The Department of Defense plans to spend at least $197.4 million in federal stimulus funds on projects in Alaska, according to an analysis by Sen. Lisa Murkowski and her staff. Murkowski said Friday that Alaska would receive $71.4 million in new military construction funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009… Nearly $60 million in new military construction will flow to interior Alaska bases. The Defense Department will spend $53.9 million to build new housing at Eielson Air Force Base and $3.45 million for ‘facility energy improvement’ at Fort Wainwright… The repair and upgrade spending Murkowski announced Saturday totals $126 million. The list includes 151 separate projects at 16 installations in 13 Alaska communities - from $5,000 to fill hydraulic lift bays at Fort Greely to $16.3 million to repair airfield pavement at Eareckson Air Force Station on Shemya." [Fort Mills Times, 3/21/09]

USDOT Announced That Fort Yukon Airport Runway Will Receive $15 Million In Stimulus Funds For Safety Renovations. "The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that Fort Yukon is eligible to receive $15 million to improve its airport. The Fort Yukon facility joins airports in Ouzinkie, Akiachak and King Salmon on the list of Alaska runways receiving federal stimulus funds. It will get nearly $55 million in federal money, part of $1.1 billion in discretionary funds allocated to airports across the country. Meadow Bailey, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, said the project still hasn’t received final approval from Gov. Sarah Palin or the Legislature. It’s tentatively scheduled to go out to bid this month. Work will include resurfacing the apron, taxiway and runway, while constructing a safety area and drainage improvements. The project will replace the airport lighting system and construct a building for storing snow-removal equipment." [Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 4/9/09]

AK Sen Begich: Fairbanks Police Force Would Benefit from Stimulus, Could Hire More Cops. "Fairbanks law enforcement will be eligible for nearly $320,000 in federal grant money thanks to the $787 billion stimulus package recently passed by Congress… Freshman Sen. Mark Begich issued a press release Friday touting what the money could do for the state. ‘At a time when communities across Alaska are working to keep crime rates down, this is welcome news from the economic recovery act,’ Begich said in a statement. ‘This money will give law enforcement agencies the tools they need for technical assistance, training, special equipment and more.’ Begich, a Democrat, was the only member of Alaska’s congressional delegation to vote for the stimulus bill… Outgoing Fairbanks Police Chief Dan Hoffman said Friday that the department made plans to utilize the funds but would not go into specifics because it was his last day on the job before his planned retirement. Hoffman noted, however, that the stimulus funds were useful particularly because they could be used to entirely fund officer positions, unlike other federal grants which only fund a portion of such salaries." [Fairbanks Daily News Miner, 3/8/09]