Concord - Flying in the face of Republican candidates' talking points is a new report, highlighted in today's Union Leader, that shows New Hampshire is on track to create 16,000 jobs with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This is the same number of jobs President Obama's administration predicted would be created in New Hampshire at the start of the program.
"For months, we have heard false rhetoric from the New Hampshire Republican Party about the Recovery Act," said Harrell Kirstein, press secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party. "Now that it is clear that the Recovery Act is creating thousands of jobs like predicted, will the Republican candidates 'refudiate' their false statements?"
In the first Congressional District, former Mayor Frank Guinta has repeatedly said he opposed the stimulus. (Redstate.com) And one of his Republican Primary opponents, career politician Sean Mahoney, has said, "the stimulus failed to create new jobs or reduce unemployment....[its] a job killing policies(s)." (Facebook.com)
In the second Congressional District, Charlie Bass has a repeated similar rhetoric. At his candidacy filing, he called the Recovery Act a "jobless stimulus bill." (votebass.com)
And in the U.S. Senate race, Kelly Ayotte has called for "ending" the job creating Recovery Act. (Concord Monitor, 8/16/2010) And claimed that it has not worked. (Laconia Citizen, 1/13/2010)
"The hyper-partisan talking points being repeated by Republican candidates clearly have no basis in reality," continued Kirstein. "The Recovery Act has created thousands of new jobs for Granite Staters, and provided the largest tax cut in United State history, aimed mostly at the middle class and small businesses."
The full text of an article in today's Union Leader highlighting the impact ARRA has had in New Hampshire is below.
Union Leader: NH share of stimulus money nearly $1 billion so far
CONCORD - New Hampshire has received nearly $1 billion in federal stimulus money since February 2009, according to a new state report.
In a quarterly update to the Executive Council and the Legislature, the Office of Economic Stimulus reported that through June 30, state spending of stimulus funds saved or created 8,303 jobs. Of those, 2,374 came in the last three months, the report said, a 75 percent increase over the previous quarter. An additional 361 jobs were saved or created through direct grants to colleges, health centers and other agencies that state does not control.
Since stimulus money started flowing from Washington, the state has seen a total of $926 million, and more is on the way. State government accepted $613 million in awards, and another $313 million came as direct contracts, grants and loans. Colleges and universities alone collected $89 million.
Last week, Congress designated another $41 million in education aid for the state, and an uncertain amount of extra Medicaid reimbursement funds for low-income health care.
OES executive director Christopher Clement said the state has spent 58 percent, or $356 million, of the funding it has received since February 2009.
At the start of the $787 billion stimulus program, the Obama administration predicted it would save or create 16,000 jobs in New Hampshire. Through June, the state was more than halfway to that total, based on the OES report.
The bulk of state government spending has been on highway construction and other infrastructure work, Clement said. New Hampshire was recognized last year for the efficiency with which it put stimulus funds to work. It was able to act quickly because its 10-year highway plan provided it with a large number of "shovel-ready" projects.
The number of jobs funded quarterly by the stimulus program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is calculated by using the total hours worked on stimulus programs. That figure is divided by the number of hours a full-time employee would have worked in a fiscal quarter, usually 520.
The job figures from Clement's office do not include the effect of the $313 million that went straight from Washington to agencies, roughly one-third of the state's total.
They also differ from the reports by the President's Council of Economic Advisors, which uses a different formula to calculate the funding impact, and counts past immediate jobs to spin-offs those workers support at retail outlets and the like, Clement said.
State job figures, he said, "are very conservative. It's an exact number based on what our program managers report to us."
In the past three months alone, OES reported that the number of stimulus funded jobs on highway projects jumped to 258 in June from 50 in March, a 400 percent increase. A total of 712 transportation jobs have been funded by stimulus funds in the last 18 months, the report said.
Education jobs were at 344 in June, up from 233 in March. Jobs related to weatherization of low-income residences were at 120 in June, up from 111 in March.
"That's going to start jumping even more," Clement said.
The state has seen $70 million in grants to the Office of Energy and Planning, which administers most weatherization work, he said.
Among the largest federal awards made directly to colleges and other agencies were $5.8 million for wastewater treatment system in Farmington, $3 million in a research grant to Dartmouth College, and $7.4 million for border-crossing upgrades in Pittsburg.
Clement said he has a team of three auditors whose job is to double-check with agencies that are using stimulus funding, to make sure their figures will pass inspection by federal auditors.
To make the entire stimulus program more transparent, Clement's office is preparing to put a website online by Labor Day that will show details of how the funding is being spent.
The site will feature a map of the state that breaks down spending by county, town and Executive Council district. Every project and the amount of funding that went into it will be detailed, Clement said.