Tribpedia: Federal Stimulus Package

Tribpedia

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is a $787 billion national economic stimulus package signed by President Barack Obama on Feb. 17, 2009.

According to the comptroller's office, as of Sept. 23, 2010, Texas has been allocated or has requested a total of $19,892,609,115. It has been awarded $9,829,835,192.98. It ...

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TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 10/10/11

Aaronson interactively asks if stimulus funds created jobs in Texas, Aguilar on new voter registrar rules that could decrease voter turnout, Galbraith on a UT professor's debunking of climate change "myths," Grissom on an epic clash of El Paso political titans, Hamilton on the right's new higher ed guru, Murphy maps household data from the 2010 Census, Ramsey on a coming rules fight in the Texas Senate, Root and M. Smith on Rick Perry's performance at the New Hampshire debate and M. Smith talks public ed cuts with the state's Superintendent of the Year: The best of our best content from October 10-14, 2011.

Gov. Rick Perry campaigns at the Hamburg Inn restaurant in downtown Iowa City.
Gov. Rick Perry campaigns at the Hamburg Inn restaurant in downtown Iowa City.

For Perry, Inconsistencies in States' Rights Mantra

Gov. Rick Perry is working hard to position himself as the leading Republican champion of the 10th Amendment. But he has at times been inconsistent in applying those beliefs, drawing criticism from some states’ rights advocates and raising questions even among fellow Republicans about whether his stance is as much campaign positioning as a philosophical commitment.

Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Iowa State Fair during a campaign stop on Aug. 14, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Iowa State Fair during a campaign stop on Aug. 14, 2011.

Perry and the Stimulus: It's Complicated

In his book and on the campaign trail, Rick Perry rails against the Obama administration's "failed" 2009 federal stimulus program. But the governor and state lawmakers took more than $17 billion in fed-stim funding, including $8 billion of the one-time dollars to cover recurring state expenses. In fact, Texas used the stimulus to balance the current biennium's budget — and the one before that.

Report Calls on Lawmakers to Boost Stimulus Monitoring

Money from the federal stimulus is still flowing to the Lone Star State, but interest in the Legislature seems to have fizzled. Speaker Joe Straus did not resurrect the House Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding, and the heavy hand at its helm — former state Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco — failed to win re-election. A new report calls for lawmakers to get their eyes back on the ball.

A coalition of Tea Party groups rally against President Obama on Jan. 16, 2009, at the Texas Capitol.
A coalition of Tea Party groups rally against President Obama on Jan. 16, 2009, at the Texas Capitol.

Texas Won't Secede — But It Won't Shut Up Either

Texas leaders aren't talking about secession, after an outbreak of conversation about it a couple of years ago. But the germ of the idea remains in the anti-federalist talking points that fueled Gov. Rick Perry’s re-election campaign last year and provided the outline for his book, “Fed Up!” The governor will make his State of the State speech to the Legislature next week, and attacking the power of the federal government is likely to be a central theme.

House Democrats Push Back Against Perry Policies

Tension between Texas and the federal government has been a major focus of Rick Perry's re-election campaign. But on Monday, two top Democratic leaders in the Texas House ganged up on Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott and, by proxy, the governor over the recent federal education funds fight. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.

Doggett Forces State's Hand on Ed Spending

The U.S. House has passed a bill on Tuesday that is expected to send about $800 million to bolster the state’s education budget. But thanks to an amendment added by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, the funding comes with Texas-specific strings attached. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune has this report.
Security camera towers loom over the Rio Grande River.
Security camera towers loom over the Rio Grande River.

DPS Plans to Use Stimulus for Border Security

The Department of Public Safety, which is struggling financially, is planning to use $16 million of the federal stimulus dollars that Gov. Rick Perry begrudgingly accepted to plug a hole in the border security budget. The decision follows a mandate by Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and House Speaker Joe Straus that state agencies cut 5 percent out of their budgets to meet an anticipated shortfall.

Rainy Day Fund May Be the Best Fix to Budget Woes

The Rainy Day Fund seems like weather word play waiting to happen. It can plug holes in the budget, defend against an economic perfect storm and keep the deficit clouds at bay. That’s certainly how some see it when looking at the next biennium's projected shortfalls.

Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the uninsured. Report: The Crunch Continues: Medicaid spending, coverage and policy in the midst of a recession. Results from a 50-state Medicaid budget survey for state fiscal years 2009 and 2010.
Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the uninsured. Report: The Crunch Continues: Medicaid spending, coverage and policy in the midst of a recession. Results from a 50-state Medicaid budget survey for state fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

States struggling to fund Medicaid

States are struggling mightily to fund Medicaid services in one the deepest recessions in recent history, according to a 50-state health care study released by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. States, many of them strapped by budget shortfalls, overwhelmingly reported being saved by the federal stimulus package, and said without it, they would have been forced to make serious cuts in Medicaid eligibility.