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SPECIAL Economic Recovery Update, 1/27/09
About this weekly economic recovery update.As promised last Friday, this is the first CMAPweekly update devoted entirely to sharing information about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. If you would prefer not to receive future updates, please reply by indicating you want to be taken offthis list. (You can still receive the regular CMAP weekly email).
Bill status. Weanticipate a full House vote this week on the House Appropriations bill. Speaker Pelosi is expressing confidence that President Obama will have a bill to sign before February 16.Today the Senate Appropriations Committeetook up its bill, whichpassed by a vote of 21-9. Senate Appropriations alsoissueda press release on the bill and vote, witha statement by committee Chairman Inouye.(Click here to view an early version of the Senate bill. Please note that this version does not include funding for all federal programs.) Over the weekend, President Obama's administration also issued a four-page document," The American Reinvestment and Recovery Plan-- By the Numbers."
CMAP's recommended criteria. We believe consistent, transparent criteria are essential for maximizing regional benefits from the recovery funding. CMAP expectsthe bulk of new fundingto be allocated through the STP, CDBG, and other existing programs. Our draft recommended criteria are meant to supplement these programs' existing project selection methods, to helpthem align with goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. Please send comments onour criteria by February 9 to Bob Dean (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8834). Before that point, we will be discussing them with organizations expected to have project selection responsibility.
Bill analysis. CMAP staff has carefully analyzed how programs are outlined and how funding would be allocated in the House Appropriations bill. Overall, whileit is not a perfect match for the short- and long-term goals articulated by the Obama Administration or by our own CMAP Board, we believe thata version similar to the current bill will pass and that our state and regional economies can benefit significantly. Click here to readour brief analysis of the bill through the lens of CMAP's endorsed principles on infrastructure.
Here are links to analyses by various other organizations: National Association of Regional Councils, National League of Cities, Center for American Progress, NationalAssociation of Development Organizations, National Conference of State Legislatures, and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Please note that CMAP does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in these organizations' materials.
Summary of allocations. CMAP staff compiled a spreadsheet (based on Center for American Progress analysis of the Appropriations bill) to show how funds will be allocated by state and by budget category. The spreadsheet has three tabs. The first has national totals broken down by states andbudget categories. The second has a pair of pie charts that show, respectively, the percentagesfor Illinois by top-level budget categories, and the percentages of allocationsfor Illinois in thecategory "Modernize Roads, Bridges, Transit, and Waterways." That infrastructure category totals $1,872,617,650, which represents 8 percent of the total $22,299,683,875 in recovery funds to our state. The third tab compares the anticipated Illinois funds in all categories to the overall national totals.
FHWA Questions and Answers. On January 23, the Federal Highway Administration posted a set ofhelpful answers to frequently asked questions from state departments of transportation.
Illinois-specific language in Appropriations bill. The current Appropriations bill includes language (Section 1112, lines 1-12) regarding restrictions on how the State of Illinois may use recovery funds. We will continue to monitor this amendment as the bill movesforward.
News links. Among therelated media coverage:
- In today's Daily Herald,Marni Pykesurveys the recovery package's implications for northeastern Illinois. In last Friday's Chicago Tribune, Blair Kamin also mentioned CMAP in the economic recoverycontext.
- Politico's David Rogers writes about a new CBO report that saysthe plan will have a "noticeable impact," while noting that some of its benefits won't take effect as quickly as desired.
- David Brooks of The New York Times recently used a prior CBO report to support his dissenting view of the package's prospects for success. The same paper's Paul Krugman then wrote what is essentially a rebuttal of Brooks's column.
- Talking Points Memo's Elana Schor claims (as have many others) that mass transit is getting slighted.
- Economy.com chief economist Mark Zandi makes the case for quick action, stating that the recovery package will yield 4 million jobs and reduce unemployment by 2 percent by the end of 2010. Without the stimulus, Zandi says, unemployment would reach double digits by January 2010.