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Recovery Resources Update

ProPublica has created a new site, Eye on the Stimulus, to track developments in the recovery package around the country.  The organization is also working with the morning news program The Takeaway and WNYC in creating Shovel Watch, a project to combine investigative reporting and public comments to help monitor recovery money from "bills to building."

A broad coalition of groups have signed onto these Principles for State Implementation of ARRA, which emphasize directing funds to benefit those hurt most by the recession and assuring that funds are spent in an open and accountable manner.

Tracking the recession: Stimulus holds states accountable

“State leaders face real change, as promised by President Obama. States will need to collect data from agencies, from contractors, from subcontractors, that they have never collected before,” said Nathan Newman, interim executive director of the Progressive States Network, a research group based in New York whose members include many state policymakers.

Stimulus Resources Update

We've added to the resources we detailed this past Monday, Implementing the Recovery Plan: A Resource Guide for State Legislators and Advocates

Overviews:  
The Council on State Governments has created StateRecovery.org to identify opportunities for states to get federal assistance and track programs and efforts to implement the recovery plan in each state.

Summary of ARRA Section on Sector Partnership Grant Program for Communities Impacted by Trade

Subchapter C - Industry or Sector Partnership Grant Program for Communities Impacted by Trade (Section-by-Section Analysis)

Sec. 279A Industry or Sector Partnership Grant Program for Communities Impacted by Trade

(a)  Purpose — Establishes that the purpose of the subchapter is to facilitate efforts by industry or sector partnerships to strengthen and revitalize industries and create employment opportunities for workers in communities impacted by trade

Conference Call: Progressive Strategies for Implementing the Recovery Act

 

On Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 4:00pm EST Progressive States Network brought together progressive state legislators and policy experts from across the country to answer questions and share practical strategies for obtaining federal stimulus funds and using them to shore up budget gaps, restore ailing economies, and effect lasting progressive change.

Built into the landmark American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a recognition that while the federal government can assist in funding America's economic recovery, most of the implementation of the plan will happen in the states. 

Transparency and Economic Recovery: What States Are Required To Do and Why They Should Do It

The new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contains significant funding for the states, but it also has tight new transparency rules requiring states to track how all federal funds are being spent and the number of jobs created.  These provisions aren't just ethically desirable, they are extremely practical fiscal measures for combating the recession and growing the economy.  Strict transparency can save states millions in unnecessary expenditures and increase the quality of work they receive from private contractors, while simultaneously ensuring that contractors create quality, decent-paying jobs to help turn the economy around.

The unfortunate reality is that most states are not collecting the necessary information to meet the standards required by the Recovery Act. This Dispatch is designed to summarize what states need to do.

Progressive States Network launches new initiative to help state leaders implement Recovery Act

Poised to receive billions in federal grant money amidst unprecedented budget shortfalls, state governments across the country face a host of difficult decisions over how to identify and allocate the resources they need to turn their ailing economies around.  Amidst this daunting backdrop, Progressive States Network, in partnership with a broad coalition of advocacy organizations, today launched an initiative to assist state legislators in understanding funding guidelines and identifying progressive policy priorities as they move forward to implement the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Implementing the Recovery Plan: A Resource Guide for State Legislators and Advocates

Recognizing the severity of the economic crisis our nation faces, President Obama this week signed the landmark American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a plan aimed at "restoring or saving" 3.5 million jobs and investing in the long-term future of the American economy.  

Built into the plan is a recognition that, while the federal government will assist in funding the work, the implementation of the plan will rest mostly with the states.  This Dispatch provides facts, guidance and a collection of resources to state leaders and advocates on how to implement the recovery plan in a strategic manner that strengthens our states and honors our progressive values.

Why States Need to be a Focus for Any Economic Recovery Plan

We are in what the Center for American Progress has called a "labor market free-fall." The economy shed 524,000 jobs in December, the 12th month in a row of job losses. The unemployment rate spiked half a percent to 7.2 percent, and 11.1 million workers are unemployed, well above expectations.  Over the past year, the economy has lost 2.6 million jobs—more than in any year since 1945.  If nothing is done, the Economic Policy Institutes estimates that more than 5.5 million jobs are likely to be lost during this recession unless a major job-creating stimulus plan is enacted.