Governor Rendell Says Federal Stimulus Continues to Help Stabilize Economy, Put Pennsylvanians to Work

Jan 11, 2010, 17:13 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

State's Federal Reports Filed Early, Available Online with Citizens' Update

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today said that more than 4,200 full-time equivalent jobs were funded directly by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in Pennsylvania in the fourth quarter of 2009. Investments in the first 10 months translate into more than $1,100 per household in the state.

"We are beginning to see signs the economy is pulling out of the recession," Governor Rendell said. "We have much more work to do and our continued quick, efficient and transparent investment of Recovery Act funds will help stabilize and boost our state's economy.

"In fact, Pennsylvania's unemployment rate -- 8.5 percent in November -- continues to be better than the national average," the Governor said. "Our rate has been at, or below, the national rate for 82 of the past 83 months."

The national unemployment rate continues to hover around 10 percent.

"Our efforts are being recognized at the national level," the Governor noted. "The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee ranks Pennsylvania 6th among states on transportation and 9th on clean water projects in terms of rapid deployment of Recovery Act funds."

To date, PennDOT has obligated more than 99 percent of the $1.026 billion for roads and bridges. Two hundred thirteen of the 326 Recovery Act-funded projects are underway with 82 complete. More than 5,800 people were working directly on Recovery Act-funded transportation projects in October; 3,800 in November. For the last quarter, that translates to 1,053 full-time equivalent jobs.

"Infrastructure projects are creating and sustaining thousands of direct jobs included in federal reports and many thousands more indirect jobs that provide paychecks to workers, but don't show up in the official tallies," Governor Rendell said. "In addition to providing jobs now, the Recovery Act is helping Pennsylvania create long-term assets that will benefit future generations."

Beyond infrastructure improvements, taxpayers are seeing other benefits from the Recovery Act, including reduced federal income tax withholding, extra unemployment benefits, health care, education, and public safety.

"To date, Pennsylvania has injected more than $5.7 billion into the economy," Governor Rendell said. "This amounts to $1,157 in Recovery Act funds invested per household in the state. And, we continue to go above and beyond federal reporting requirements."

Yesterday was the deadline for Recovery Act fund recipients to file the latest quarterly report to the federal government to show taxpayers how, when, and where their tax dollars are being spent. Two days before the deadline, the commonwealth submitted 348 separate reports for 16 agencies and representing more than 3,500 vendors and recipients.

In addition to reports submitted by the commonwealth, every local government, business, organization and entity that received direct Recovery Act funding in the past three months from the federal government will file reports this week. All of the reports will be available from the federal government later this month, but Pennsylvania made each of its preliminary reports available immediately at www.Recovery.Pa.gov.

"As part of Pennsylvania's ongoing effort to provide a window on how Recovery Act funds are being invested, we posted all 348 federal reports online now for public review," said Ronald J. Naples, Pennsylvania's chief accountability officer and chair of the Stimulus Oversight Commission.

"Again this quarter, Pennsylvania went to the extraordinary step of voluntarily posting online a 'Citizens' Update' to provide a user-friendly look at voluminous data on Recovery Act spending in the state," said Naples.

In total, Pennsylvania is on track to receive more than $26 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Of that $26 billion, individual and business federal tax credits and benefits comprise about $11 billion. The $13.5 billion flowing through state government agencies will build highways and bridges, help workers, improve the environment, support communities, develop alternative energy, and house residents. More than $2 billion will be awarded directly from the federal government to entities across the state, including local governments, transit agencies, businesses, non-profit organizations and universities, for a variety of projects and programs.

For more information about the impact of Recovery Act funds in Pennsylvania, to view the latest Citizens' Update and federal reports, visit: www.Recovery.Pa.gov.

Media contacts:

Barry Ciccocioppo, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116

Editor's Note: Following is a fact sheet highlighting some of the impact of Recovery Act funding in Pennsylvania.

Stimulus Impact Fact Sheet -- January 2010

  • In the first 10 months of the 36-month Recovery Act, Pennsylvania has invested more than $5.7 billion into the economy for worthy projects and services.
    • This amounts to $1,157 in Recovery Act funds invested per household in the state.
    • This is a 48 percent increase in Recovery Act investments over the total invested at the end of the previous quarter.
  • The commonwealth submitted 348 reports to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 8 -- two days before the deadline.
    • The reports cover $713.4 million of Recovery Act funds spent through state agencies as of the end of December 2009.
      • There was a 174 percent increase in Stimulus investments for the last quarter compared to the period ending Sept. 30, 2009.
  • A total of $2.5 billion is in the hands of individuals due to the Recovery Act funds helping families buy food, pay for rent, or pay their utilities
    • More than $1.5 billion in extended unemployment payments is helping more than 500,000 people who have lost jobs through no fault of their own.
    • More than $193 million in supplemental food stamp payments have been made to more than 1.5 million people.
    • Approximately 4.5 million households are paying $821 million less in federal taxes due to the Recovery Act tax code changes.
  • To date, more than $1.6 billion has already made it possible to continue providing health care to Pennsylvanians in need.
  • Nearly $267 million has been invested to date in Pennsylvania's education system, including nearly $68 million for education and innovation from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund.
  • PennDOT has obligated $1.020 billion (99.4 percent) of funds for 326 road and bridge projects.
    • 301 of 326 projects have opened bids.
    • 277 projects have received the green light; 213 projects have started work; 82 projects are complete.
    • More than 11,630 people were working directly on Recovery Act-funded transportation projects in October, November and December.
    • For the fourth quarter of 2009, that translates to 1,053 full-time equivalent jobs.
    • The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee ranks Pennsylvania 6th among states in terms of rapid deployment of Recovery Act funds for transportation.
  • PENNVEST has released grants and loans of $213.5 million -- of $221 million total Recovery funds -- to provide clean water and fix wastewater problems that will benefit more than 100,000 households across the state; helping 1.1 million people.
    • One hundred four of 114 clean water projects have started and are expected to put 5,298 people to work.
    • The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee ranks Pennsylvania 9th among states in terms of rapid deployment of Recovery Act funds for clean water projects.
  • Recovery Act funds are increasing Pennsylvania's investments in the new energy economy.
    • Nine projects in eight counties are receiving $12.1 million for combined heat and power projects that will cut costs and conserve energy.
    • Eight projects are investing $5 million into biogas energy efficiency projects.
  • Weatherization work is finished or in progress to help save energy and reduce heating costs for residents in 1,843 homes. In all, more than 29,000 homes will be weatherized over the next two years.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor



RELATED LINKS

http://www.governor.state.pa.us