To the Citizens of Massachusetts:
On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) into law. ARRA was enacted with the goal of preserving and creating jobs in the short-term, while also investing in transportation, education, alternative energy, environmental protection, and other key infrastructure projects that will provide long-term economic benefits. The Act also seeks to help ordinary Americans hurt by this global economic collapse. I am confident that we are well on track to making these goals a reality here in the Commonwealth.
Over the 27 month recovery program, nearly $14 billion in funds and tax benefits will flow to the people of the Commonwealth. Of these funds, we expect over $6.1 billion will be distributed by state agencies for education, public safety, transportation, energy infrastructure improvements, and Safety Net services such as Medicaid and Unemployment Insurance. With $1.9 billion in recovery funds distributed so far, 23,533 people have been put to work or retained their jobs.
Through September 30, 2009, recovery funds have had the following impacts on the people of Massachusetts:
- Approximately $4 billion has been awarded to state agencies, and nearly $1.9 billion of that funding has been spent to create or retain jobs and fund services to those negatively affected by this downturn.
- 8,792 full-time equivalent (FTEs) jobs have been created or retained, representing 23,533 actual people put to work. These numbers represent teachers, health care professionals, police officers, fire fighters, construction workers, engineers and many others whose salaries have been supported by ARRA funds.
- Nearly 2.8 million people in Massachusetts have benefited from recovery program spending in areas of education, Medicaid, unemployment benefits and workforce development programs .
As we submit our first report to the federal government, the Commonwealth is pleased to issue this first Citizens' Update on the impact and progress of ARRA funding here in Massachusetts. The federal recovery program requires unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the use of funds, and my administration has committed to going above and beyond federal requirements. This update is part of that effort. We are working hard to put the funds to work quickly, effectively and with the highest standards of accountability. The following report will provide you with a clear picture of how federal dollars are being spent and will help drive accountability for the timely, prudent and effective spending of recovery dollars.
I hope you find this information helpful in understanding the recovery program here in Massachusetts and how it affects you and your fellow citizens. Please do not hesitate to contact my recovery team if you have any follow-up questions. These are your recovery dollars at work and you deserve to know how your money is being spent.
Now is a moment of great challenge for all of us; but it is also one of opportunity. The Recovery Act provides Massachusetts an even better chance to create and save jobs now and also lay the foundation for economic growth for the future. We are not out of the woods yet. But with the help of ARRA and you, we are on our way.
With great hope,