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Florida Governor Unveils Stimulus Spending Site



March 19, 2009 By

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who two days ago announced the state's Sunshine Spending Web site, today unveiled the Florida Office of Economic Recovery's Web site that allows the public to review state and local governments' use of federal stimulus funds. The launch of the FlaRecovery.com Web site comes during Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of Florida's dedication to making state and local government more accessible to the public.

"We will ensure that Florida is using the highest standards of fiscal integrity, transparency and accountability in putting the federal stimulus dollars to work for Florida's families and businesses," Crist said. "I invite Floridians to return to FlaRecovery.com often to check on our progress of getting this much-needed relief to our schools, workforce, transportation projects and most vulnerable residents."

The Web site will be a clearinghouse of all public records and documents related to the implementation of the federal stimulus dollars, according to a release from the Governor's Office. Visitors will be able to get information about programs such as unemployment compensation, workforce training, food stamps and cash assistance.

Funding

Florida's share of the federal stimulus package is estimated to be more than $13 billion over three budget years and Crist has proposed using $4.7 billion of the funds for the 2009-10 budget. To receive the funding, appropriate budget authority must be approved by the Florida Legislature.

According to the Governor's Office, the following amounts are planned from stimulus funds:

  • Children and families relying on food stamps will benefit from an additional $879 million.
  • A total of $1.4 billion will be spent throughout the state on highway and transportation projects
  • $126 million will be spent on programs to promote energy efficiency.
  • Florida's workforce will receive some$165 million for workforce employment and training programs. As reported by the White House, the stimulus package is expected to create or retain 206,000 jobs statewide.

State Agencies File Applications for Benefits

To date, state agencies have filed a variety of reports and applications that will potentially lead to Florida's receiving the following federal stimulus dollars:

  • $453.1 million in additional federal Medicaid funds for January through March 2009, and $363.1 million in additional federal Medicaid funds for October through December 2008, totaling $817 million. Over the span of the recovery effort, federal Medicaid funds will increase to more than $4 billion.
  • $1.4 million for increased services in the Senior Community Services Employment Program.
  • $393,700 for competitive grants to support vulnerable or eliminated salaried positions in local arts and cultural organizations as a result of the current economic climate.
  • $22.1 million to support Florida's one-stop career centers and re-employment services, and $143 million to supplement the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult, Youth and Dislocated Worker formula programs, for a total of $165.1 million in training and employment services for unemployed and underemployed Floridians.

Florida's Preparation to Receive Federal Stimulus Dollars

On February 2, in anticipation of Congress' American Recovery Act, Crist formed the Federal Stimulus Working Group to review the best use of federal stimulus dollars.


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