The American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill has been submitted to Congress for review. There are billions of dollars floating around in this economic stimulus proposal & yours truly has taken a look through it to cull some funding streams that should be of interest to social workers & like minded individuals (read: you are concerned about the welfare of poor, oppressed, and vulnerable populations).
Why does this matter? This legislation represents the most sweeping financial stimulus the nation has ever seen, and the potential for great good to be done for our clients is within our grasp. It is up to us to contact our legislators and let them know what we support, do not support, or wish was in the stimulus that is not there.
I encourage you to read the full summary here in the next week before the bill is voted on.
Child Development Center: $360 million for new child development centers.
Veterans Medical Facilities: $950 million for veterans’ medical facilities.
Job Corps Facilities: $300 million to upgrade job training facilities serving at-risk youth while improving energy efficiency.
Education for Homeless Children and Youth: $66 million for formula grants to states to provide services to homeless children including meals and transportation when high unemployment and home foreclosures have created an influx of homeless kids.
Child Care Development Block Grant: $2 billion to provide child care services for an additional 300,000 children in low-income families while their parents go to work.
Head Start: $2.1 billion to provide comprehensive development services to help 110,000 additional children succeed in school.
Training and Employment Services: $4 billion for job training including formula grants for adult, dislocated worker, and youth services (including $1.2 billion to create up to one million summer jobs for youth).
Child Support Enforcement: $1 billion to provide federal incentive funds for states to collect support owed to families.
Centers for Independent Living: $200 million for state formula grants to help individuals with disabilities continue to live in their communities.
Pell Grants: $15.6 billion to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $500, from $4,850 to $5,350.
College Work-Study: $490 million to support undergraduate and graduate students who work.
Student Loan Limit Increase: Increases limits on unsubsidized Stafford loans by $2,000.
Energy Efficiency Housing Retrofits: $2.5 billion for a new program to upgrade HUD sponsored low-income housing to increase energy efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and furnaces. Funds will be competitively awarded.
Native American Housing Block Grants: $500 million to rehabilitate and improve energy efficiency at some of the over 42,000 housing units maintained by Native American housing programs.
Homeless Assistance Grants: $1.5 billion for the Emergency Shelter Grant program to provide short term rental assistance, housing relocation, and stabilization services for families during the economic crisis. Funds are distributed by formula.
Lead Paint: $100 million for competitive grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations to remove lead-based paint hazards in low-income housing.
IDEA Infants and Families: $600 million for formula grants to help states serve children with disabilities age 2 and younger.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance: $20 billion to provide nutrition assistance to modest-income families and to lift restrictions that limit the amount of time individuals can receive food stamps.
Senior Nutrition Programs: $200 million for formula grants to states for elderly nutrition services including Meals on Wheels and Congregate Meals.
Afterschool Meals: $726 million to increase the number of states that provide free dinners to children and to encourage participation by new institutions by increasing snack reimbursement rates.
Wireless and Broadband Grants: $6 billion for broadband and wireless services in underserved areas to strengthen the economy and provide business and job opportunities in every section of America with benefits to e-commerce, education, and healthcare.
Economic Development Assistance: $250 million to address long-term economic distress in urban industrial cores and rural areas distributed based on need and ability to create jobs and attract private investment.
Rural Water and Waste Disposal: $1.5 billion to support $3.8 billion in grants and loans to help communities fund drinking water and wastewater treatment systems.
Bureau of Reclamation: $500 million to provide clean, reliable drinking water to rural areas and to ensure adequate water supply to western localities impacted by drought.
Bureau of Indian Affairs: $500 million to address maintenance backlogs at schools, dams, detention and law enforcement facilities, and over 24,000 miles of roads.
Indian Health Service Facilities: $550 million to modernize aging hospitals and health clinics and make healthcare technology upgrades to improve healthcare for underserved rural populations.
Rural Community Facilities: $200 million to support $1.2 billion in grants and loans to rural areas for critical community facilities, such as for healthcare, education, fire and rescue, day care, community centers, and libraries.
School Construction: $20 billion, including $14 billion for K-12 and $6 billion for higher education, for renovation and modernization, including technology upgrades and energy efficiency improvements. Also includes $100 million for school construction in communities that lack a local property tax base because they contain non-taxable federal lands such as military bases or Indian reservations, and $25 million to help charter schools build, obtain, and repair schools.
IDEA Special Education: $13 billion for formula grants to increase the federal share of special education costs and prevent these mandatory costs from forcing states to cut other areas of education.
Title I Help for Disadvantaged Kids: $13 billion for grants to help disadvantaged kids in nearly every school district and more than half of all public schools reach high academic standards.
Medical Facilities: $3.75 billion for new construction of hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers, and $455 million in renovations to provide state-of-the-art medical care to service members and their families.
Superfund Hazardous Waste Cleanup: $800 million to clean up hazardous and toxic waste sites that threaten health and the environment
Prevention and Wellness Fund: $3 billion to fight preventable chronic diseases, the leading cause of deaths in the U.S., and infectious diseases
Community Health Centers: $1.5 billion, including $500 million to increase the number of uninsured Americans who receive quality healthcare and $1 billion to renovate clinics and make health information technology improvements.
Training Primary Care Providers: $600 million to address shortages and prepare our country for universal healthcare by training primary healthcare providers including doctors, dentists, and nurses as well as helping pay medical school expenses for students who agree to practice in undeserved communities through the National Health Service Corps.
COBRA Healthcare for the Unemployed: $30.3 billion to extend health insurance coverage to the unemployed, extending the period of COBRA coverage for older and tenured workers beyond the 18 months provided under current law.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: $2.5 billion for block grants to help States deal with the surge in families needing help during the recession and to prevent them from cutting work programs and services for abused and neglected children.
Employment Services Grants: $500 million to match unemployed individuals to job openings through state employment service agencies and allow states to provide customized services.
Increased Benefits: $9 billion to increase the current average unemployment insurance benefit from roughly $300 per week, paid out of State trust funds, by $25 per week using Federal funds, through December 2009.
Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants: $500 million for state formula grants for construction and rehabilitation of facilities to help persons with disabilities prepare for gainful employment.
Payments to Disabled and Elderly: $4.2 billion to help 7.5 million low-income disabled and elderly individuals with rising costs by providing an additional SSI payment in 2009 equal to the average monthly federal payment under the program
Community Service Employment for Older Americans: $120 million to provide subsidized community service jobs to an additional 24,000 low-income older Americans.
Transit Capital Assistance: $6 billion to purchase buses and equipment needed to increase public transportation and improve intermodal and transit facilities.
Department of Labor Worker Protection and Oversight: $80 million to ensure that worker protection laws are enforced as recovery infrastructure investments are carried out.
Compassion Capital Fund: $100 million for grants to faith- and community-based organizations to provide critical safety net services to needy individuals and families.
AmeriCorps Programs: $200 million to put approximately 16,000 additional AmeriCorps members to work doing national service, meeting needs of vulnerable populations and communities during the recession.
Community Services Block Grant: $1 billion for grants to local communities to support employment, food, housing, and healthcare efforts serving those hardest hit by the recession.
Emergency Food and Shelter: $200 million to help local community organizations provide food, shelter, and support services to the nation’s hungry, homeless, and people in economic crisis including one-month utility payments to prevent service cut-off and one-month rent or mortgage assistance to prevent evictions or help people leave shelters.
It is important not to become complacent and assume everything will work out now that Obama is in office. We still need to support good legislation, demand better when necessary, and provide constructive criticism flawed ideas.
-The plan to lift time restrictions on the length of time individuals can receive food stamps is a laudable policy
-The plan to invest $224 million in the repair of flood control systems neglects New Orleans (see full bill)
-The plan to invest $350 million to research renewable energy sources for military weaponry would be better spent on green civilian technology such as mass transit.
Contact your Representative
Contact your Senator
Contact your President
****UPDATE: On CSPAN tonight the House was debating this bill and of course the Republicans wanted to CUT THE FOOD BANK / FOOD STAMPS provisions….this is why you must stay informed & involved!!*********
Filed under: Social Justice |