When President Obama signed the Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February, states immediately went to work with plans on how to spend the money. So what can Kentuckians expect from the stimulus package? Here’s how taxpayer dollars are being put to work in the Bluegrass State.
According to Kentucky at Work (our state’s implementation of the Recovery Plan), the state will receive approximately $3 billion over the next 28 months. Shocking to many, however, is the fact that only 20% of these funds will be used to “expand the economy for growth.” The other 80% is dedicated to “Preserving our Commitments,” or in other words, previous commitments we’ve made that fell short of funding goals.
The other millions
Kentucky is dedicating smaller amounts to the following initiatives: $63 million to energy projects, $12 million for local community block grants, and $66 million in job training grants.
Those looking for a job in the state will be glad to hear that the stimulus package is expected to create nearly 48,000 jobs in Kentucky. And for those who are unemployed, the plan gives an extra $25 per check, per individual receiving benefits.
THE BIG ONES
The 80% of pre-committed funds will be used for:
Medicaid …………….$1 billion
Education ……………$924 million
Roads & bridges ……$421 million
Health & welfare ……$272 million
TRACK THE DOLLARS
The good news is that Governor Beshear and his team have created a Web site that provides Kentuckians a way to track the funds being spent. Beshear says, “One of the cornerstones of the federal recovery effort is to be transparent and accountable with every dollar being spent in Kentucky. This new site is one important way we can be transparent and accountable with the dollars we are using in the Commonwealth to save and create jobs.”
Track Kentucky’s stimulus money online at www.kentuckyatwork.ky.gov.