WASHINGTON, February 10 - Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders today shared updated Vermont-specific numbers for funds from the economic recovery legislation passed by the Senate.
What does this mean for Vermont?
According to an official senate analysis, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is estimated to provide approximately $374.9 million in the following benefits.*
Vermont's Infrastructure and Science
In order to rebuild our weakening economy, these investments in our physical and cyber infrastructure will put Vermonters immediately to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, and will also enable the creation of a stronger and more efficient infrastructure for the 21st century economy.
- $19.7 million through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to address the backlog of drinking water infrastructure needs
- $19.5 million through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to address the backlog of clean water infrastructure needs
- $132.4 million in Highway Funding to be used on activities eligible under the Federal-aid Highway Program's Surface Transportation Program and could also include rail and port infrastructure activities at the discretion of the states
- $7.5 million in Transit Formula Funding for investments in mass transit
- $3.4 million through the Public Housing Capital Fund to enable local public housing agencies to address a national $32 billion backlog in capital needs - especially those improving energy efficiency in aging developments - in this critical element of the nation's affordable housing infrastructure
- $5.5 million in HOME Funding to enable state and local government, in partnership with community-based organizations, to acquire, construct, and rehabilitate affordable housing and provide rental assistance to poor families
- $3.4 million through the Homelessness Prevention Fund to be used for prevention activities, which include: short or medium-term rental assistance, first and last month's rental payment, or utility payments. As such, most of this funding will go directly into the economy of local communities, as the funds will be used to pay housing and other associated costs in the private market
Education and Training in Vermont
In order to compete in the 21st Century, we must have a well-educated workforce, capable of adapting to an ever-changing economic environment. Investing in education now will ensure that the next generation of Vermont's workers is ready and able to meet the challenge of global competition. In the near-term, millions of workers have seen their jobs disappear, and find themselves unable to match their skill sets with existing opportunities. Providing job training in new and expanding fields will help to lower the unemployment rate and help today's workers better compete against foreign competition.
- $62.2 million through the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund to local school districts and public colleges and universities in addition to incentive grants as a reward for meeting key education performance measures and additional funding for other high-priority needs such as public safety and other critical services, which may include education
- $26.1 million for Special Education Part B State Grants to help improve educational outcomes for individuals with disabilities, raising the federal contribution to nearly 40 percent, the level established when the law was authorized more than 30 years ago
- $4.8 million in education technology funds to purchase up-to-date computers and software and provide professional development to ensure the technology is used effectively in the classroom
- $32.2 million for Title I Education for the Disadvantaged to help close the achievement gap and enable disadvantaged students to reach their potential
- $1.3 million in State Employment Service Grants to match unemployed individuals to job openings through state employment service agencies and allow Vermont to provide customized reemployment services
- $1.2 million in Dislocated Workers State Grants, particularly for grants that support immediate strategies for regions and communities to meet their need for skilled workers, as well as longer-term plans to build targeted industry clusters with better training and a more productive workforce
- $1.2 million for Department of Labor's Adult State Grants
- $2.9 million for Department of Labor's Youth State Grants
- $1.6 million for Vocational Rehabilitation to help individuals with
disabilities prepare for and sustain gainful employment
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 would provide investments in areas critical to the development of clean, efficient, American energy, including modernizing energy transmission, research and development of renewable energy technologies, and modernizing and upgrading government buildings and vehicles.
- $3.5 million through the State Energy Program
million through the Weatherization
Protecting the Vulnerable in Vermont
The current economic crisis has affected all Vermonters, but none more so than the most vulnerable among us. The spending proposed here will serve to lessen the blow of the current recession, providing immediate relief for children, the poor, and others who may find themselves struggling to put food on the table or a roof over their head. It will also address the urgent need to provide safe and secure places to live, even in neighborhoods that are struggling with high unemployment and surging foreclosure rates.
- $159,013 for National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance
- $186,890 through the Emergency Food Assistance Program
- $25.7 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (formerly Food Stamps)
- $163,399 for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, which provides grants to nonprofit and faith-based organizations at the local level to supplement their programs for emergency food and shelter to provide for the immediate needs of the homeless
- $2.8 million in Child Care and Development Block Grants to provide quality child care services for in low-income families who increasingly are unable to afford the high cost of day care
- $601,891 for Head Start to allow additional children to participate in this program, which provides development, educational, health, nutritional, social and other activities that prepare children to succeed in school
- $1 million in Community Services Block Grants to local community action agencies for services to the growing numbers of low-income families hurt by the economic crisis, such as housing and mortgage counseling, jobs skills training, food pantry assistance, as well as benefits outreach and enrollment
- $500,000 for Senior Meals Programs to help senior meals programs cope with steep increases in food and fuel
costs. Many programs are reducing meal deliveries to seniors or closing meal
Law Enforcement in Vermont
- $3 million in Byrne/JAG grants to support law enforcement efforts
- $348,998 for crime victims compensation and assistance
- $403,670 in Internet Crimes Against Children Grants to help law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative response to offenders who use the Internet, online communication systems, or other computer technology to sexually exploit children
- $1.1 million in Violence Against Women Grants for victim services programs to improve the criminal justice system's response to violent crimes against women and to assist victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking who are in need of transitional housing, short-term housing assistance, and related support services
Additional Benefits for Vermont
Unemployment Benefits in Vermont. According to the Department of Labor, Vermont could receive $14 million in new funding if Vermont fully enacts the UI modernization incentives that the legislation would provide.
Tax Relief for Vermont Families and Businesses. According to the Senate Committee on Finance, the following are examples of tax provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that will help Vermont businesses and families, create jobs and get Vermont's economy moving:
- Up to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for married couples for the Making Work Pay Tax Credit
- $300 to Social Security beneficiaries, SSI recipients, and disabled veterans
- $2,500 for the American Opportunity Tax Credit (an increase in the tax credit for higher education and allowing the credit for four full years)
- Extended and increased Homebuyer Tax Credit to both help aspiring homeowners and stabilize plummeting home prices
- Extended Bonus Depreciation and Small Business Expensing through 2009, allowing businesses that make capital investments to immediately deduct one-half the cost. Small businesses can immediately deduct 100 percent of the cost of these investments
- $1.6 billion for grants to schools and hospitals for energy efficiency and combined heat and power system projects
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 would protect over 26 million working families across the nation from the Alternative Minimum Tax, representing thousands of dollars in additional income taxes. According to the Congressional Research Service, 51,000 Vermonters would be protected from the Alternative Minimum Tax in 2009.
* The benefits described in this fact sheet represent estimates of highlights of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It is not a complete listing of all the programs included in the legislation. Due to rounding, the sum of the programs may not equal the estimated total. This total only includes appropriations, not tax provisions and Medicaid.