Stabenow Secures Funding for Green Collar Jobs Initiative in Economic Recovery Package

Press Release

By:  Debbie Stabenow
Date: Jan. 27, 2009
Location: Washington, DC

Stabenow Secures Funding for Green Collar Jobs Initiative in Economic Recovery Package

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today announced that the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committees passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Stabenow played a critical role to ensure the package provided tax incentives and spending provisions to help fund her Green Collar Jobs Initiative, which was included in the Senate Budget Resolution last year. Stabenow's initiative makes critical investments in green technology to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, decrease carbon emissions and most importantly, create jobs here at home. This recovery package comes as Michigan's unemployment rate reached 10.6% in December.

"Creating good-paying, middle-class American jobs must begin with a real investment in the domestic production of advanced batteries, and other alternative energy technologies," said Stabenow. "I am pleased that this recovery package does just that by helping to fund provisions in my Green Collar Jobs Initiative, which will lay the foundation for a 21st century manufacturing agenda, strengthen global competitiveness, and reduce our dependence on foreign energy."

Senator Stabenow secured billions in tax credits and incentives for her Green Collar Jobs Initiative to support alternative energy and clean tech manufacturing, energy efficiency and conservation funding, and advanced battery research credits in the Senate Finance Committee. Stabenow also secured funding for her green jobs workforce training program and advanced batteries research and production in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Both the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee were responsible for crafting the tax and spending provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 respectively.

Provisions Funding Stabenow's Green Collar Jobs Initiative:

Advanced Batteries ($2 billion)
Provides grant funding for the manufacturing of advanced batteries systems and components and vehicle batteries that are produced in the United States, including advanced lithium ion batteries, hybrid electrical systems, component manufacturers, and software designers. Batteries are central to our efforts to decrease the oil dependence of our vehicles.

Energy Research Credit ($18 million over ten years)
Provides an enhanced 20 percent R&D credit for fuel cell, advanced batteries, renewable energy, and energy conservation technology.

Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit ($1.4 billion over ten years)
Establishes a new 30 percent investment tax credit for companies that manufacture advanced technology for the production of renewable energy, advanced batteries, energy conservation, carbon capture and sequestration, and efficient transmission and distribution of electricity. This tax credit will help companies like Dow Corning manufacture solar cells.

Plug-in electric drive vehicle credit
Increases the number of plug-in electric drive vehicles eligible for a $7,500 consumer tax credit from 250,000 vehicles to 500,000 vehicles per manufacturer. This will help more consumers move to newer technologies and advance the production of alternative vehicles here at home.

Alternative Refueling Stations ($54 million over ten years)
Increases the business credit for alternative refueling property, or a property that is used to store or dispense alternative fuel into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle, from 30 percent (maximum $30,000) to 50 percent (maximum $50,000) and extends it for one year.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Funding ($6.6 billion)
Allocates an additional $4.2 billion in grant funding and $2.4 billion in bond funding to provide cities, counties and states with the resources they need to promote alternative energy usage and energy efficiencies. This funding will get locally driven projects off the ground and have the potential to create thousands of jobs.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Research ($2.6 billion)
Provides billions to develop technologies that will diversify the Nation's energy portfolio and contribute to a reliable, domestic energy supply. Biofuels, geothermal, water, wind, solar, and efficiency projects will be deployed to demonstrate and improve our use of renewable energy.

Wind, Solar, and Geothermal Investment Tax Credit ($218 million over ten years)
Allows companies that produce electricity from wind, closed-loop biomass, open-loop biomass, geothermal, small irrigation, hydropower, landfill gas, waste-to-energy, and marine renewable facilities to elect the 30 percent investment tax credit instead of the production tax credit due to the current market conditions.

Clean Renewable Energy Bonds ($578 million over ten years)
Authorizes an additional $1.6 billion of clean energy bonds to finance facilities that generate electricity from renewable resources.

Green Jobs Training and Employment ($3.4 billion)
Provides competitive grants to non-profits and private partnerships to train workers that will lead to an expanded energy efficiency and renewable energy industry workforce. Green jobs training will include preparing workers for activities supported by other economic recovery funds, such as retrofitting of buildings, green construction, and the production of renewable electric power.

Other Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009:

Making Work Pay Credit ($142.2 billion over ten years)
Provides an individual tax credit in the amount of 6.2 percent of earned income not to exceed $500 for single returns and $1000 for joint returns in 2009 and 2010.

Seniors, Disabled Veterans, and SSI ($17 billion over ten years)
Provides a one-time payment of $300 to Social Security beneficiaries and SSI recipients receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries. The proposal would also provide a one-time payment of $300 to veterans receiving disability compensation and pension benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Unemployment Insurance ($41 billion)
Extends unemployment benefits to qualifying individuals by 20 additional weeks. In high unemployment states like Michigan (defined as those with an unemployment rate above six percent), individuals would be eligible for an additional 33 weeks of benefits bringing in a total of $90 million into the state. Individuals receiving unemployment benefits would also be provided an additional $25 dollars on top of their weekly benefit. The proposal also suspends taxes on benefits up to $2,400 per recipient.

Earned Income Tax Credit ($4.7 billion)
Expands Earned Income Tax Credit to provide an increased credit for three or more children and additional marriage penalty relief for married couples.

Refundable Child Tax Credit ($10.5 billion)
Increases the eligibility for the refundable child tax credit in 2009 and 2010 by lowering the threshold to $6,000.

American Opportunity Tax Credit ($12.9 billion)
Creates a $2,500 higher education tax credit that is available for the first four years of college.

Trade Adjustment Assistance ($108 million)
Extends the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Workers program by two years to help provide Michigan workers who lose their jobs due to unfair trade policies with extra income support and training benefits. Extends the TAA for Firms program to help trade-distressed companies retool and become more competitive thereby preventing layoffs.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families ($3.3 billion)
Increases Temporary Emergency Contingency Fund (TANF) amount to provide states like Michigan with much-needed relief through FY 2010 and extends supplemental (TANF) grants to additional states with increased poverty or high population growth through FY 2010.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ($16.5 billion)
Increases SNAP program, formerly Food Stamp, benefits for those in need. According to the USDA, every $5 billion in SNAP spending triggers $9.2 billion in economic activity.

COBRA Continuation Coverage for Unemployed Workers ($25 billion)
Provides a 65 percent premium subsidy for individuals who lost their jobs after September to help cover the cost of COBRA premiums. By making temporary changes to the COBRA benefit, more Americans will have access to health care. This is critically important now as businesses find it harder and harder to afford benefits. In 2000, 64 percent of Michigan's private employers offered health coverage to their workers, but now only 53 percent of companies offer health insurance. As employers dropped coverage, Michigan's uninsured rate has grown. In 2007, 11.6 percent of Michigan's total population, or 1.1 million, were uninsured, up from 10.5 percent in 2006.

Medicaid ($87 billion)
Provides targeted assistance to state Medicaid programs, which are holding the line on the growing number of uninsured. According to the U.S. Census, public programs such as Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program are the only things preventing a greater increase in the uninsured. In its August report, the Census specifically attributed the drop in uninsured people to an increase in the number of children -- particularly the number of low-income children -- enrolled in CHIP and Medicaid.

Health Information Technology ($17.9 billion)
Invests in the adoption and use of Health IT systems modeled after the Stabenow-Snowe Health Information Technology legislation. Adopting Health IT improves the quality of care, efficiency and reduces health care costs for health care providers who serve Medicare and Medicaid patients. This provision also implements an ongoing process for the development of Health IT standards and the certification of systems that meet those standards.

Net Operating Loss Carry Back Period ($17.2 billion over ten years)
Assists businesses that have been particularly hard hit by the economic slump. The proposal extends a law allowing companies to apply excess net operating losses to tax returns from prior profitable years. The provision would extend the net operating loss (NOL) carry back from two years to five years.

Stabenow AMT/R&D tax credit provision ($805 million over ten years)
Extends Stabenow legislation passed last July to allow those companies in a loss position to participate in stimulating the economy just as those companies that are able to take advantage of bonus depreciation. By making investments in their companies by retooling and creating jobs, they also get a tax benefit they would not otherwise be able to receive.

New Market Tax Credits ($1 billion over ten years)
Authorizes an additional $1.5 billion in tax credits for economic investment in low-income communities

Build America Bonds ($6.8 billion over ten years)
Provides State and local governments with a new tax credit bond option for new capital projects. Because the market for tax credits is currently small given current economic conditions, the provision would allow the State or local government to elect to receive a direct payment from the Federal government equal to the subsidy that would have otherwise been delivered through the Federal tax credit for bonds issued in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Homeownership Tax Credit ($2.6 billion over ten years)
Modifies the $7,500 tax credit for home purchases that occur after 2008 and before July 1, 2009. The credit need not be repaid unless the house is sold within 35 months of purchase.

Qualified School Construction Bonds ($4.5 billion over ten years)
Creates a tax credit bond to fund new construction of schools.

Qualified Zone Academy Bonds ($1 billion over ten years)
Allocates $1.4 billion in loans to qualifying schools and communities to borrow at little or no cost.

Corp of Engineers ($4.6 billion)
Includes funding for operations and maintenance activities such as dredging Federal harbors and waterways, construction of major rehabilitation of inland waterway locks and dams, coastal navigation projects, and environmental restoration projects.

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