To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Texas 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 Texas in the first three months of his administration.
IMPACT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ECONOMIC POLICIES ON TEXAS
- Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $4.2 billion back in the pockets of more than 8.4 million hard-working Texas families.
- $214,851,599 to support child care for working families.
- $208,759,900 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
- $326,975,732 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
- $218,782,000 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.
- $6,348,589,848 potentially available to Texas 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.
- $14,414,728 to fund 12 new Community Health Centers, which will serve an estimated 55,920 patients and create a projected 415 jobs.
- $20,019,818 to expand services at 65 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 149,445 patients and create or save a projected 461 jobs.
- $5,987,462 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
- $952,186,421 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.
- $14,031,941 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
- $2,250,015,146 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
- $374,524,702 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
- $16,812,560 to address airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.
- More than $147.5 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 TEXAS
Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.
Stimulus Funding Will Create Over 4,500 Jobs, Help Build Roadway Expansions That Would Open Up Property for Economic Development In San Antonio Area."The San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization voted to approve $14.74 million in federal transportation stimulus funds to expand and reconfigure a major roadway that leads into Port San Antonio. The 36th Street Extension project involves expanding the roadway to connect six major highway components in order to produce a trade corridor for the area. 36th Street connects U.S. Highway 90 to Port San Antonio. One segment of the project is on city property and the other segment is on Port San Antonio property. The city will manage the construction of both segments of the 36th Extension Project. The project is expected to open up an additional 150 acres of airfield accessible property at the port for economic development. Conservative forecasts released by Port San Antonio show that more than 4,500 jobs will be created as a result of the roadway extension project." [San Antonio Business Journal, 3/24/09]
Randall County Sought Stimulus Funds to Hire Nine New Police Officers. "Randall County and the city of Amarillo have joined a growing list of Texas Panhandle communities competing for stimulus money to hire more police officers. County commissioners voted Tuesday morning to allow Sheriff Joel Richardson to apply for a estimated $500,000 grant through the federal Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Recovery Program… Roughly $1 billion has been set aside for local communities to hire more full-time officers under President Obama's stimulus plan… Richardson said Randall would use the money to hire a patrol officer, an ID technician and an investigator to work Internet cases. Randall County has five criminal investigators, each of whom can be pulled off an active case if something more serious breaks, said Capt. Bob Crump, a department spokesman. An Internet-crimes investigator would help the county respond to more computer crimes… If the city receives the grant, four officers would be added to the APD neighborhood Community Oriented Policing and Problem-Solving unit, and two would be added to the department's motorcycle squad, Taylor said… In recent weeks, the cities of Canyon, Borger and Perryton have applied for similar funds to pay for staff increases." [Amarillo Globe-News, 4/15/09]
Houston Businesses Are Seeing Uptick In Customers Wanting To Take Advantage Of Stimulus Tax Credits For Energy Efficient Roofs, Windows, Doors, Air Conditioning And Water Heaters. "When the Boggs family moved into a 15-year-old Pearland home last fall, they penned a laundry list of renovations that they hoped to make over the next two years. The lineup changed, however, after they learned about the tax credit offered for energy-efficient home improvements under the federal economic stimulus bill. The measure offers homeowners a credit of up to $1,500 on 30 percent of qualifying purchases of items such as roofs, windows, doors, air conditioning units, insulation and water heaters made before December 2010. ‘We plan to take advantage of every penny possible,’ said Laura Boggs. The family spent Saturday afternoon at the Houston Home Show, checking out products that fit the federal criteria and visiting with vendors to determine how to make their home as energy efficient as possible. ‘We advise every consumer to do their research, get clarification on what products meet the criteria,’ said Joel Schoenvogel, who does construction in the Cypress-Fairbanks area." [Houston Chronicle, 3/21/09]
Four Small Texas Airports Will Receive $12.6 Million To Fund Pavement Improvements On Runways And Taxiways. "Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) officials are ready to move forward with improvements to several general aviation airports around the state with funding from the economic stimulus program. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood recently announced that airports around the country will receive $258 million under the recently-enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).Last month, as TxDOT moved to advance construction of road, bridge and transit projects funded through the ARRA, the Texas Transportation Commission gave staff approval to submit 10 aviation project proposals to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA approved four Texas projects totaling $12.6 million that will fund pavement improvements on runways and taxiways at: Snyder Airport - Scurry County - $2 million; Grayson County Airport - Denison - $ 6.8 million;-- Sulphur Springs Airport - Hopkins County - $ 3 million: and-- Brady-Curtis Field - McCulloch County - $ 800,000." [KTEN, 4/13/09]
Texas Community Health Centers Will Use Stimulus Funds to Create or Retain 461 Jobs. "La Esperanza Clinic of San Angelo is putting a stimulus grant to work by hiring staff to deal with a possible 1,500 new patients affected by the troubled economy during the next two years. The clinic is adding six workers with the $237,200 grant, said Mike Campbell, chief executive officer of the operation, which mostly serves people who have little or no health insurance… The funds come from the Health and Human Services through the Increased Demand for Services Community Health Center Grants, the White House announced Friday. The federal grant program is designed to strengthen the job picture and serve patients left without health care in the economic downturn. The clinic has hired a nurse practitioner and is recruiting an aide, an outreach case manager, a benefits eligibility specialist and a reimbursement specialist… The clinic began seeing an increase in patients around the first of the year because of the recession, he said. In Texas, $20 million is being distributed to 65 health care centers, the announcement said. They will use the money to create or retain about 461 center jobs during the next two years." [San Angelo Standard-Times, 3/28/09]
KWTX: Area Cities Receive Share of $517 Million In Stimulus Funds. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated $517 million to Texas cities, counties and housing agencies Monday including dozens in Central Texas as part of a wave of stimulus money expected to flow into the state. Waco appears to have benefited most from the funds. Awards to the city and the Waco Housing Authority total more than $2.7 million. (Scroll down for a complete list of the awards). Federal officials released another $14.4 million to support 12 Texas health centers, many of which provide care to people with no health insurance. LINK
Texas Contractors, "Desperate for Work," Will Bid on Toll Road Construction Project Funded by $181M in Stimulus Money. "In Texas, a proposal to use $181 million of the federal money to help build a toll road that will eventually form part of an outer ring around Houston has drawn criticism from some transportation advocates who warn that the project will spur more sprawl… Now contractors across the country — many of which have had to shed workers as construction slowed to a halt — are gearing up for more work. Jim Andoga, the president of Austin Bridge & Road, which does heavy highway work in Texas, said his firm had mothballed one of the asphalt plants it owned and let go about 50 workers. Other companies have had to lay off up to half of their workforce, Mr. Andoga said. Mr. Andoga predicted that with so many companies desperate for work, the government would get some bargains on early bids. ‘I’ll tell you,’ he said, ‘the first round of the stimulus, I think the work’s going to go pretty cheap.’" [NY Times, 3/4/09]
Hays County, Texas Will Receive $2.4 Million In Stimulus Funds For Flood Control Along Plum Creek. "U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett today announced that $2.4 million in federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be used for flood control projects along Plum Creek in Hays County. ‘Upgrading flood control along Plum Creek will protect people and property along the rapidly growing Kyle-Buda corridor,’ said Rep. Doggett, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and House Budget Committee. ‘This recovery funding will create jobs, promote future construction in Hays County, and reduce the danger from any future flooding.’" [San Marcus Mercury, 4/9/09]
Amarillo Law Enforcement Received $406,000 Stimulus-Funded Grant After Years of Decreasing Funding. "Local law enforcement is reaping the benefits of the stimulus bill. Two billion dollars were allocated to law enforcement across the country about 150 million dollars stayed in Texas. That includes what comes directly to the panhandle. Potter County will get about $406,000. Potter County officials say they were shocked when they found out how much money they were about to receive. The money's available through the Justice Award Grant. It's a grant that comes in every year. In Potter County it's been decreasing every year." [KAMR, 3/6/09]
Star-Telegram Praises New Fort Worth Health Clinic In Area With Low-Income Families, High Pregnancy Rate. "Fort Worth is finally getting a second federally qualified health clinic (FQHC), thanks to $1.25 million in U.S. stimulus money. The planned clinic, to be in southeast Fort Worth, will have to open by July 1 to collect the funding allocation. The deadline is an imposing one, but determined local community and healthcare leaders have been pushing for this facility for years and likely will not let this opportunity slip away. The first, Albert Galvan Health Clinic on North Main Street, opened in late 2005 and reached its goal of 6,200 clients within two years. Galvan is the only FQHC in Tarrant and Denton counties. Its service area north of downtown — bounded by Jacksboro Highway on the west, Interstate 35W on the east and Loop 820 on the north — is 82 percent minority, including 74 percent Hispanic. In that area, the pregnancy rate is nearly twice the national average, and almost one quarter of the residents have less than $15,000 household income." [Star-Telegram Editorial, 3/22/09]
Stimulus Will Fund Veterans Nursing Home In Tyler That Was First Proposed Seven Years Ago. "U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison announced Friday that Tyler has secured an $8.6 million grant for a 160-bed Veterans Affairs extended care facility. The grant is part of the stimulus expenditure plan, worth more than $17 million. Houston is the other site to receive funds for an extended care facility. Smith County Director of Veterans Services Toby Cross said he is ecstatic to hear of the facility coming to East Texas and he has worked with officials at the Tyler Economic Development Corp and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, whose board of regents approved the donation of 20 acres of land in 2002, when a bid for a VA nursing home was first proposed. ‘Smith County was at the top of the list for a number of years,’ Cross said. ‘It's needed in our area because there are 17,000 veterans in Smith County. It will also serve the tens of thousands of veterans across East Texas.’ [Tyler Morning Telegraph, 3/21/09]
Department of Defense Will Spend More Than $725 Million For Military Construction Projects In Texas, Including Repairs to Airfield Pavement, Base Roads, Water Mains And Other Infrastructure Improvements. "The Pentagon will spend $726.5 million in Texas for military construction projects — including $27.1 million for San Antonio bases — with funds in the stimulus bill by signed President Barack Obama, officials said late Friday… In San Antonio, Randolph AFB would see the largest number of projects and funds totaling $18.4 million, followed by Lackland AFB with $6 million and its Kelly Field Annex with $2.7 million. ‘It means more jobs,’ said Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio. ‘These resources will create more jobs.’ Rodriguez said Laughlin AFB near Del Rio would receive $5.3 million in military construction projects that include repairs to roofs, sewer systems and base facilities… Projects there include repairs to airfield pavement, base roads, water mains and other infrastructure improvements. At Lackland AFB, the projects include roof repairs and maintenance on dormitories that house recruits for basic training and other specialized fields." [Express-News, 3/21/09]
Stimulus Money Will Fund a New Military Hospital at Fort Hood. "In a move that drew praise from President Barack Obama, $621 million in federal stimulus funding was approved Thursday for a new military hospital to replace the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood. The development also was well received by Waco-area officials, who said any potential drain on local medical staffing could be outweighed by economic and other benefits. Officials say the current hospital is old, undersized and stretched to capacity. Obama issued a statement Thursday applauding plans for the new hospital. ‘This is the kind of critical investment we must make to support our brave soldiers and veterans who have sacrificed so much for us, and this is the sort of progress that can happen if we bring Democrats and Republicans together to focus on solving the challenges we face as a nation,’ he said." [WacoTrib.com, 3/20/09]
Austin Bridge & Road Company Bidding On Stimulus-Funded Highway Project In Dallas; President Said, "Instead Of Seeing 10 To 15 People Being Laid Off, I Think We Have The Possibility Of Seeing 10 To 40 Being Added." "New white collar jobs may also be on the way in Texas, where one construction company is bidding on a stimulus-funded project to widen a major freeway in Dallas. ‘Instead of seeing 10 to 15 people being laid off, I think we have the possibility of seeing 10 to 40 being added,’ said Jim Andoga president of Austin Bridge and Road. That includes engineers, accountants and marketers." [CBS News, 3/6/09]
Rep Gonzalez: San Antonio Will Use Stimulus Funds to Hire 50 More Officers, "This is Money that Will Keep Cops On the Beat." "U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday announced $2 billion worth of funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help keep more police on the streets. The Attorney General is making the $2 billion worth of funds available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program. Money under this program can be use to hire police officers, support drug and gang task forces, pay for crime prevention and domestic violence programs and support courts and victim services. Texas is slated to receive $150 million from the Justice Department in stimulus funds, including $57 million to various county and municipal governments." [San Antonio Business Journal, 3/6/09]
Texas Transportation Commission Approved $1.2 Billion in Stimulus Funding for 29 Road Projects, Expected to Spur a Total of $2.6 Billion in Spending on Projects Across the State. "The Texas Transportation Commission on Thursday approved the spending of $1.2 billion in federal economic stimulus money on 29 Texas road projects, three of them in the Austin area… With support from local agencies and resources, the federal stimulus money will spur about $2.6 billion in road projects statewide, the Texas Department of Transportation said." [Austin Business Journal, 3/6/09]