“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
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.
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.
Negotiators between the Senate and House approved a deal
late Wednesday night for a recovery package. The good news is that the
Senate agreed to a significant recovery package at all, since at one
time the legislation faced the threat of a filibuster that would have
blocked almost all stimulus spending approved in the original House
While all details of the full compromise between the House and Senate
have not been released, the best news for state governments facing
While groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have condemned federal help for state governments in the recovery package, most analysts recognize that state spending is going to be the most immediate stimulus available for reviving the national economy.
Unfortunately, as a new study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities details, while state deficits are projected to be $350 billion over the next 30 months, the House recovery plan just approved includes only about $150 to $155 billion that can be used to address those shortfalls, meaning that 55% to 60% of projected state deficits will remain.
Progressive States highlighted a range of studies and analyses in last week's Dispatch on the importance of aid to the states as a centerpiece for economic recovery. Many state leaders praised the House version of the package
introduced last week. Additional studies released this past week
continue to reinforce the point that investments in the states are key
to economic recovery: