This narrative provides the details of various ARRA program awards that are having a real impact on our citizens every day - over and above the jobs that have been created by Recovery dollars. While many of these initiatives are ones that have existed for several years, the injection of ARRA funds has allowed for the continuation and even expansion of these programs during these hard economic times. The beneficiaries listed below are representative of citizens across the Commonwealth from neighborhoods in every city and town. The numbers shown are an estimate by each responsible state agency of the beneficiaries impacted by the addition of ARRA funds into these programs.
Administration and Finance
- Impact on Child Support Incentives (Federal Match) Program run by The Child Support Enforcement Division, within the Department of Revenue, currently services in excess of 200,000 child-support cases.
Health and Human Services
- Senior Community Service Employment grant provides community service and training programs for older workers, specifically providing them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to attain employment in today's job market
- Congregate Meals Grant helps provide fresh meals on a statewide basis through a network of 23 community based local Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), which provide a wide range of services to elders and their families
- Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) allows Massachusetts to avoid what would have been even deeper cuts throughout state government. A large portion of these dollars went towards the maintenance of the MassHealth program to enable the preservation of critical medical services to over 1.2 M recipients.
- Home Delivered Nutrition Services helps elders with nutritional needs to become or remain healthy, independent, and active in their community.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Services - ARRA funds are used by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission to support a number of projects designed to assist individuals with disabilities.
- Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program is handling an unprecedented 30% increase in enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps), beginning in April 2009, benefit amounts rose by 18% due to federal stimulus funding (resulting in a sizable monthly increase for most families).
Health and Human Services (continued)
- Infants and Families with Disabilities (IDEA) benefits infants and toddlers, children age 0-3 years of age, who have or are at risk for developmental delays.
- CDBG Block Grant for infrastructure improvements and public housing modernization awarded to provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities, and to create jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses.
- Tax Credit Assistance Program supports Low Income Housing Tax Credit Projects that were stalled due to lack of investor support.
- Future residents of housing projects underway
- Community Services Block Grants provide assistance to local communities, working through a network of 24 Action Agencies to reduce poverty, revitalize low income communities, and empower low income families and individuals to become full self-sufficient.
- Weatherization Assistance Program aims to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings occupied by low income persons, reduce their total home energy expenses, and improve their overall health and safety. The program targets particularly vulnerable people such as the elderly, the disabled and low income families with children.
Labor and Workforce Development
- Federal Additional Unemployment Compensation has allowed 508,085 individuals from across the Commonwealth to receive an additional $25 per week benefit compensation as a result of the Recovery Act.
- Recovery Act Emergency Unemployment Compensation extends the qualifying time for existing federal unemployment insurance benefits. This has provided federal extensions to individuals in 2009 who otherwise would not have qualified.
- WIA Recovery Act Title 1 Services for Adult, Dislocated and Youth Workers funds directly benefit low-income individuals of the Commonwealth who qualify under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and received employment and training services. Qualified youth received employment opportunities.
Labor and Workforce Development (continued)
- Wagner Peyser Act Employment Services benefits employed and unemployed workers seeking to upgrade their skills and obtain jobs, and provides customized services to clients with special needs, including veterans, individuals with disabilities, and unemployment claimants likely to exhaust their benefits.
- State Fiscal Stabilization Fund - Government Services During the second quarter of FY 2010, Government Services funds were expended to support Massachusetts municipal fire departments impacted by budget cuts that have forced layoffs and also vacancies resulting from attrition. The Commonwealth announced two sets of awards, one in October directing $7.8 million to rehire 125 firefighters who were laid off, and then a second round in late November directing $11.6 million to retain or hire 105 firefighters in their fire departments.
- 230 firefighters, benefiting residents of 85 cities & towns
- Victims of Crime Assistance Program benefits victims of crime and their families who have experienced one or a combination of the following: domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and surviving a homicide.
- The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant provides assistance to state and local law enforcement agencies to enhance and improve law enforcement programs, prevention and education programs, technology, as well as to help create and retain public safety jobs.
- Crime Victim Compensation - ARRA benefits either the victims of violent crimes or providers who have provided service to those victims.
- Internet Crimes Against Children education prevention services are provided to Craneville Elementary School in Dalton, MA to grade 2 students, teachers, staff, and parents; Wahconah Regional High School students and staff; Stearns Elementary School, Pittsfield, MA grades K-5.
- State Fiscal Stabilization Fund - Educational Stabilization Fund During the second quarter of FY 2010, Education Stabilization funds were expended to maintain the fiscal stability of the public higher education system and support administrators, faculty members, and staff members at the state and community colleges and the University of Massachusetts campuses. In addition, funds were spent (in accordance with guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education) to address infrastructure needs at these institutions. A total of 11,554 educators were supported by the expenditure of these funds during this quarter.
- Students and educators at the state and community colleges and the University of Massachusetts campuses
- Title I, Part A funding improves teaching and learning for students most at risk of failing to meet State academic achievement standards. During the first and second quarters of FY 2010, grants were awarded to 258 districts that serve 202,166 students who are directly eligible to receive Title I services. Massachusetts has received an additional $163 million in two types of Title I funding to supplement the $243 million that the state received in 2009, an increase of 67 percent. A total of 1,081 educators were supported by the expenditure of these funds during the second quarter.
- Students and educators in 258 districts
- IDEA, Part B Pre-School Grants During the first and second quarters of FY 2010, grants were awarded to 179 districts that serve 9,000 children who are eligible to receive special education services. Massachusetts has received an additional $10.26 million in ARRA IDEA Pre-School funding to supplement the $7.3 million that the state received in 2009, an increase of more than 100 percent. A total of 119 educators were supported by the expenditure of these funds during the second quarter.
- Students and educators in 179 school districts
- IDEA, Part B Grants to States support the provision of special education services to children with disabilities. During the first and second quarters of FY 2010, grants were awarded to 389 districts that serve approximately 165,000 students who are eligible to receive special education services. Massachusetts has received an additional $280 million in ARRA IDEA School-Age funding to supplement the $282 million that the state received in 2009, an increase of nearly 100 percent. A total of 1,944 educators were supported by the expenditure of these funds during the second quarter.
- Students and educators in 389 districts
- Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) assistance benefits youth who received the summer learning vouchers, their parents who retained work as a result of having these vouchers, and the staff members who were employed because their programs received these vouchers.
- USDA Child Nutrition Recovery Act serves 114 schools in 31 districts, serving a total enrollment of approximately 60,000 new students. These funds were used to purchase new food service equipment for the schools.
- Students and educators in 31 districts
- USDA Child Nutrition Programs - Elementary and Secondary Education grants were awarded to four local community food banks that serve approximately 750 local food pantries and soup kitchens throughout the state.
- 4 community food banks, serving 750 food pantries
- ARRA transportation projects are improving the roadways, transit systems, pedestrian/bike and ferry facilities. These projects are located throughout each of the Commonwealth's 13 counties. The highway projects include 43 roadway resurfacing and reconstruction projects and 5 bridge improvement projects. Additionally we have invested in safety and congestion projects with 5 intersection improvement projects and 5 bicycle/pedestrian and transit improvement projects - including an expansion of the busiest park and ride lot in the system and a new intermodal transit facility in Greenfield, MA. Finally, we have invested in security and public safety through the four Intelligent Transportation System projects that will upgrade out-dated communications equipment. All users of these roadways and bridges and bike/pedestrian facilities will benefit from the work being completed. The users of the Steamship Authority ferries will benefit from the docking and terminal facilities improvements being made in Falmouth, Hyannis and Oak Bluffs. Improving the transportation system of the commonwealth impacts the daily life of our citizens as well as providing the essential infrastructure for commerce.
Energy and Environment
- USFS Native Species Ecological Restoration Grant benefits residents of Worcester and Berkshire Counties in Massachusetts by addressing in the detection of the destructive Asian Longhorned Beetle and other invasive insect species that destroy trees and other vegetation.
- Residents of Worcester and Berkshire counties
- USFS Southeastern Massachusetts Fuels Mitigation benefits residents of Plymouth and Dukes Counties in Massachusetts. The fuels management and ecosystem restoration activities reduce the risk of wildfire in these counties.
- Residents of Plymouth and Duke counties
- State Energy Program aims to provide leadership to maximize the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy in Massachusetts. The Department of Energy Resources is working to substantially increase solar energy resources in state facilities, as well as to reduce energy waste and increase renewable energy projects across the Commonwealth.
- Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants will advance clean energy technology and energy efficiency goals at the community level. This will include both funding to assist with energy efficiency projects and to provide technical assistance to municipalities.
- The Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) program will provide Massachusetts with funds for the remediation of known storage tanks buried underground that are or have been compromised and are leaking petroleum into the environment. This quarter, four projects were initiated at 3 sites under the LUST ARRA program. Two Direct Site Assessments took place at Fisherville Mill in Grafton and Quincy Street in Dorchester, and two Direct Cleanups began at Maple Street in Holyoke and Quincy Street in Dorchester.