Almost two years ago, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide much needed funds to guide our nation through the worst recession since the Great Depression.

As the work of the second term begins, our Recovery Act investments will continue to reflect the values and goals of the Patrick-Murray administration - remaining committed to strategic investments focusing on job creation, education, health care, and youth violence prevention.

With the help of the Recovery Act, we have invested in infrastructure to create jobs today, and job training to provide our workforce with skills for jobs of tomorrow. We have also invested in our students, keeping teachers in the classroom at the height of the recession. Our children cannot afford to sit out their education until the economy recovers. And, with the highest score nationally in the Race to the Top Competition, Massachusetts has won even more Recovery Act funds to continue innovative practices in our schools and to ultimately help to close the achievement gap.

We have invested in health care, using increased Medicaid funds from the Recovery Act to ensure that our most vulnerable citizens were cared for during tough times. Moving forward, in the coming weeks and months, we will implement pilot programs to demonstrate new methods for reducing the cost of health care in the Commonwealth and making health insurance as affordable as it is accessible.
With the help of the Recovery Act, we have invested in our youth, providing summer jobs and training opportunities to bring at-risk kids off the streets and out of courtrooms and into workrooms and classrooms. We have not only provided summer jobs for thousands of young people across the Commonwealth, but we have offered them the hope of a second chance and a brighter future.

In this Citizens Update, we bring you success stories, stories of how these investments have worked-for our economy, our infrastructure, and our individual citizens. You will find stories of individuals who without the Recovery Act would have been jobless or homeless. You will find stories of projects that are promoting clean energy and bringing cost savings to our cities and towns. You will see how the Recovery Act has brought real progress to Massachusetts, put our citizens back to work, maintained public services in a time of need, and invested in our future.

The Recovery Act has been a bridge to help us cross over troubled times. We are emerging from these difficult times, inspired and invigorated to move Massachusetts forward. I look forward to working with the people of the Commonwealth to serve our generational responsibility to make Massachusetts a better place. I am certain that with optimism and effort, our best days lie ahead.

Sincerely,

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