Breathing Room: A Panel of Legislators and Staff Tells State Legislatures That the Federal Recovery Money Took Some O the Sting out of the Recession. but There's More Pain to Come

By Hurley, Jeff; Tubbesing, Carl | State Legislatures, October-November 2009 | Go to article overview

Breathing Room: A Panel of Legislators and Staff Tells State Legislatures That the Federal Recovery Money Took Some O the Sting out of the Recession. but There's More Pain to Come


Hurley, Jeff, Tubbesing, Carl, State Legislatures


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

It's been nine months since President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the $787 billion package intended to pull the country out of its economic tailspin.

In that time, all but a handful of state legislatures finished their sessions for the year, passed their budgets and, in one way or another, accommodated the various streams of stimulus money that have begun to flow into their states. They've appropriated the money that was theirs to appropriate. They've wrestled with governors over the money that wasn't. And they've set up oversight mechanisms to adhere to the law's emphasis on transparency and accountability and begun to see first-hand how the stimulus law is working.

State Legislatures interviewed four Republicans, four Democrats and two staff fiscal officers to find out their thoughts on the recovery money. Did it help balance budgets and create jobs? Were too many strings attached? And what will happen in two years when the money runs out?

The recovery money began arriving during the early spring, just as most legislatures were confronting the worst fiscal situation in several generations.

State Legislatures: How has the recovery money helped your state?

Maine Speaker Hannah Pingree: As a state that has had a very difficult budget year, the stimulus funds made a horrendous budget a tough but not impossible budget.

Utah Speaker David Clark: We cut our budget by 15 percent and backfilled half of that with ARRA funds. The pain of the recession has been delayed a year, hoping the economy comes back. It has basically allowed a year's postponement of our budget challenges.

Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields: Missouri was in better shape than other states. We previously had cut Medicaid. Despite these cuts, we had a pretty big hole to fill due to declining revenue. The stimulus funding propped up the state budget through enhanced Medicaid match funds and education.

California Senator Denise Ducheny: Without the Medicaid and education money, California's budget would have been much worse.

West Virginia fiscal officer Fred Lewis: The stimulus has been a terrific help in preventing tax increases and curbing spending cuts, as it has effectively helped balance the budget in West Virginia.

Ohio Senate President Pro Tempore Tom Niehaus: It is likely the use of these funds alleviated the need for deeper spending cuts or additional revenue alternatives.

Backers of the recovery act argued it would create as many as 3.5 million jobs. While some state leaders and staff do not see a lot of job creation, they tend to agree the recovery funding has preserved jobs.

SL: Is the recovery act creating jobs?

Pennsylvania Representative Curtis Thomas: Much of what Pennsylvania has received so far has been for shovel-ready transportation projects. These projects have likely sustained existing jobs more than creating jobs.

Kentucky Senate Majority Floor Leader Dan Kelly: The act has been most effective in maintaining road-building jobs and keeping them on schedule.

Niehaus: I'm not sure of any assessment has shown any jobs were created or saved or at this point have accomplished what the stimulus set out to achieve.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Although it has money for many programs, the recovery act's strongest focus is on Medicaid, education and transportation.

SL: What ARRA programs have been most effective in your state?

Shields: The Medicaid money has certainly had an impact. It has kept the state's Medicaid program whole and allowed us to use some of the flexible money in other places. Missouri was on a seven-year implementation of a K-12 school funding formula and we were able to stay on track with the stimulus money. Furthermore, we were able to increase funding for elementary schools while secondary and higher education were held stable. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Breathing Room: A Panel of Legislators and Staff Tells State Legislatures That the Federal Recovery Money Took Some O the Sting out of the Recession. but There's More Pain to Come
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.