U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse joined President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden today as he signed a bipartisan job creation bill into law. The HIRE Act will encourage businesses to hire and help put Americans back to work.
The legislation also extends the Highway Trust Fund, investing $252 million in job-creating transportation projects for Rhode Island, as well as expands the Build America Bonds program, which provides low-interest financing for state and local governments to invest in infrastructure upgrades.
"I am proud to join President Obama today because this bill is about jobs. These are common-sense steps to start putting more Rhode Islanders back to work, cut taxes for small business owners, and provide the state with $252 million in transportation upgrades," said Reed.
"I was glad to see this important jobs legislation that provides $252 million in direct transportation funding to Rhode Island signed into law," said Whitehouse. "Looking around our state, I can't help but notice the many roads and bridges in need of repair. The federal highway funding that this bill brings to Rhode Island will help put people to work rebuilding some of these important structures, and I'll keep working in the Senate to make sure we continue making smart investments to improve our infrastructure and create jobs."
The elements of the bill include:
* Rhode Island businesses that hire unemployed workers are eligible for a tax credit -- up to $6,000 per worker hired -- through an exemption from Social Security payroll taxes. Businesses that retain these new workers for at least one year are eligible for a $1,000 income tax credit per worker retained;
* Rhode Island is estimated to receive more than $225 million in highway funding as well as $27 million in transit funding -- a rate of return that is approximately $3 for every $1 Rhode Islanders pay into the federal highway trust fund;
* Rhode Island business owners who invest in new equipment and machinery this year will be able to expense up to $250,000 of these purchases; and
* Rhode Island state agencies and every city and town will be eligible to take advantage of Build America Bonds to lower the borrowing costs of capital projects such as schools, hospitals, public utilities, and infrastructure improvements.