Federal Funding for State Innovation

Recovery Plan Making Huge Difference for Economy and Working Families

Opponents of the federal recovery bill are now already rushing to declare the plan a failure, despite most economists believing that any stimulus was always expected to take time to reverse an economic crisis driven by years of unregulated financial excess and of misguided D.C. fiscal policies.  As a Wall Street Journal report detailed, a survey of 51 economists found that that "53% of respondents said [the recovery plan] has provided somewhat of a boost but that the larger effect is still to come."

Some States Wasting Money on Job Bidding Wars and Corporate Subsidies

Overall, federal recovery spending is working as intended, helping states provide needed services and avoid layoffs that would be worsening unemployment rates.  The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that these funds are providing states with 40 percent of what is needed to help their budgets in balance over the next few fiscal years.  The recovery plan has provided states with flexibility in addressing key programs and priorities. Unfortunately, a number of states have wasted budget funds on trying to steal jobs from one another, as highlighted by Good Jobs First.

Unemployment Reforms Sweep Nation Due to Federal Recovery Incentives

In a time of rising costs, increased unemployment, and declining wages, American workers could easily feel like they’ve been left to fend for themselves. Fortunately, because of incentives and funding included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as a new National Employment Law Project report details, states across the country have enacted measures to make it easier for unemployed Americans to obtain unemployment insurance (UI) benefits (see also this past Dispatch for some key state models for reform).  Progress this session includes: