U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today announced Senate passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Stabenow, who is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, helped ensure the package provides tax incentives and spending provisions to help make America more energy independent and create good-paying, middle-class jobs here at home. The recovery package comes as Michigan's unemployment rate reached 10.6% in December and is estimated to create thousands of Michigan jobs.
"Families across Michigan and across the country are struggling, and we must act. This bipartisan package helps put the American middle-class back to work," said Stabenow. "Bottom linethis economic recovery package is about creating 4 million good-paying jobs and putting money into the pockets of working families right away."
Senator Stabenow has been leading the fight to embrace the new green economy and to create new green-collar jobs in Michigan. Her Green Collar Jobs Initiative, which is funded in the recovery package, makes critical investments in advanced manufacturing, green technology, and job training. These investments will lay the foundation for a 21st century manufacturing agenda.
"This is about doing what we've always done in Michigan - embracing opportunities and leading the world in innovation," said Stabenow. "With our strong manufacturing and agricultural industries, and some of the best research universities in the nation, Michigan will play a leading role in wind, solar, biofuel, and electric vehicle production."
The Act makes the following critical investments to create jobs:
Over $70 billion to Promote Alternative Energy, Green Manufacturing, and Vehicle Tax Incentives
Over $145 billion to Invest in our Infrastructure and Science
Over $80 billion to Invest in Education and Training
Over $40 billion to Help Families Hardest Hit by the Economic Crisis
Over $120 billion to Improve and Expand Access to Affordable Health Care
Over $280 billion to Provide Tax Relief for Working Families, Retirees, Disabled Veterans
Creating Jobs by Investing in Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Energy Efficiency Here at Home:
Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit ($2 billion)
For the first time ever, companies that manufacture advanced technology for the production of renewable energy and advanced batteries are going to receive a manufacturing tax credit. With a tightening credit market and an economic recession, this legislation provides a 30% tax credit to help companies (up to $2 billion dollars) with the cost of building facilities that manufacture renewable energy products. This will provide necessary capitol for companies like Dow Corning, pay for a facility o manufacture solar cells.
Stabenow AMT/R&D tax credits
Many of our manufacturers require assistance to revamp and modernize their facilities, so they can create jobs and stay competitive globally. The recovery package extends Stabenow legislation that passed last July, allowing companies to utilize built up tax credits to stimulate the economy, invest in capital, and create new jobs.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants ($4.2 billion)
We also need to make critical investments in our cities, counties, and states, so we can help get locally driven alternative energy projects off the ground. The recovery package provides $4.2 billion in energy efficiency and conservation block grants to reduce fossil fuel emissions and create thousands of jobs.
Weatherization Assistance Program ($2.9 billion)
Weatherization has helped spawn an energy efficiency industry for residential housing. This industry today employs 8,000 people who work in low-income weatherization alone, and many times that number work in companies that help homeowners increase their energy efficiency through low-cost measures. The recovery package helps finance activities that make our government, commercial, and residential buildings more energy efficient.
Investing in the Production of Electric Vehicles to Create Jobs:
Plug-in Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Credit
We must spur investment in domestic plug-in electric vehicle and component manufacturing. This recovery package allows 100 percent immediate expensing of production property through 2011 (and 50% expensing through 2014). This provision also invests in a smarter electricity grid and the development of additional recharging stations, which are necessary to the widespread adoption of plug-ins. And to provide even more incentives for consumers, the recovery package includes a provision cosponsored by Stabenow that provides a 10% tax credit toward the purchase of 2- and 3- wheeled and neighborhood electric vehicles on the market today.
Advanced Batteries ($2 billion)
In order to ensure we are building advanced technology vehicles here at home, we need to invest in the batteries and components. This recovery package includes $2 billion in 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.
Energy Research Credit
The bill also provides an enhanced 20 percent R&D credit for fuel cell and advanced batteries. Batteries are central to our efforts to decrease the oil dependence of our vehicles, and we need to make sure battery research is funded.
Alternative Refueling Stations
Finally, it is also important to provide incentives for businesses that supply alternative energy fuel for the plug-in electric vehicles on the road. This package increases the business credit for properties that are used to store or dispense alternative fuel into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle, from 30 percent to 50 percent and extends through 2010.
Promoting the Sale of Vehicles:
Auto Ownership Tax Assistance
When people are able to buy a new car, we keep American autoworkers on the job. But with auto sales at a 27-year low, we need to create tax breaks for families to purchase new cars. This recovery package includes a provision that makes interest on car loans and state sales and excise taxes for cars deductible from income taxes.
Plug-In Electric Vehicle Credit
To help more consumers move to newer technologies and advance the production of alternative vehicles here at home, this legislation 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 industry-wide.
Energy Efficient Federal Motor Vehicle Fleet Provision
When the federal government purchases American-made, plug-in vehicles, our automakers are able to keep more people on the job. This recovery package provides $300 million to buy roughly 15,000 hybrid, plug-in, or electric vehicles, with first preference going to American-made vehicles.
Investing in Jobs Rebuilding America:
Transportation Infrastructure Funding ($38.5 billion)
Putting people to work on highway and transit projects is a win-win for all Americans. This package provides Michigan with over $884 million to maintain and improve state highways, as well as $165 million in formula fundsset by current transit authorization lawsto invest in public transportation. The bill also includes $3.1 billion for investments in rail transportation, particularly high speed rail corridors.
Public Lands Funding ($3.4 billion)
We also have an opportunity to create jobs by improving our parks and public lands. This bill provides funding for the repair, restoration, and improvement of public facilities at parks, forests, refuges, and other public and tribal lands.
Department of Homeland Security Infrastructure Investments ($5.1 billion)
Rebuilding America must also include investing in our security here at home. This plan provides $800 million to reduce the $6 billion construction backlog for points of entry on our borders, as well as $500 million to secure high risk critical infrastructure such as dams, tunnels, and bridges.
Investing in Clean Water Initiatives:
Clean Water ($6 billion)
Investing in our infrastructure must also include addressing how we supply our drinking water. Michigan would receive close to $171 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $67 million from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to finance local clean and drinking water infrastructure improvements.
Corp of Engineers ($4.6 billion)
We must make a real investment in 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. This funding is anticipated to create as many as 37,000 direct new private sector jobs.
Providing Assistance to Help Put Americans Back to Work:
Job Training Initiatives ($3.4 billion)
The recovery package includes critical funding to help put Michigan back to work. We have secured $3.4 billion in job training initiatives to meet the training and employments needs of workers across the country. Michigan will receive $72 million for worker grant programs, some of which will focus specifically on green job training.
-Green Job Training ($250 million)
Through competitive grants to non-profit and private partnerships, we will train workers for activities such as retrofitting of buildings, green construction, and the production of renewable power. This $250 million investment will help place thousands of Michigan workers into green jobs.
Modernizing Unemployment Insurance ($47 billion)
With Michigan leading the nation with the highest unemployment rate, the need to address unemployment insurance has never been more important. That's why we have modernized the unemployment insurance program to address many of the current problems with how states issue benefits. This legislation increases benefits for recipients with dependents or those who are participating in job training. It also provide benefits for workers who decide to take a job part time while searching for full-time work and bases the benefit amount on the most recent pay period. This package also extends unemployment benefits in high unemployment states like Michigan by an additional 33 weeks, bringing in a total of $90 million into the state. Economists estimate that for every $1 spent on unemployment benefits, the economy is stimulated by $1.64.
Extending Trade Adjustment Assistance ($108 million)
Many workers across our state have lost their jobs due to unfair trade policies. This recovery package extends the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Workers program by two years to help provide Michigan workers who lose their jobs with extra income support and training benefits.
Expanding and Improving Access to Health Care for Working Families:
Expanding Medicaid ($87 billion)
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. That is why this recovery package provides $87 billion in 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.
Investing in Health Information Technology ($21 billion)
In addition to expanding health care coverage, we must focus on modernizing health care infrastructure to make it more efficient and less costly. Adopting Health Information Technology improves the quality of care, efficiency and reduces health care costs for health care providers who serve Medicare and Medicaid patients. This recovery package invests $21 billion in the adoption and use of Health IT systems modeled after the Stabenow-Snowe Health Information Technology legislation. By investing in Health IT we will also be able to create jobs in the information technology sector.
Veterans Health Initiatives ($3.7 billion)
We must keep our promise to our veterans by providing them with the care they need. Our plan provides funding for the construction and renovation of VA hospitals and medical facilities, long-term care facilities for veterans, and improvements at VA national cemeteries.
Helping Families Hardest-Hit Through Economic Crisis:
COBRA Continuation Coverage for Unemployed Workers ($21 billion)
No one who loses their job should have to worry about whether or not they will be able to afford get the health care they need. By making temporary changes to the COBRA benefit, more Americans will have access to health care. This recovery package provides $21 billion to cover more of the rising cost of premiums for individuals.
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families ($3 billion)
With the economic recession placing more and more families into poverty it is critical that we increase much-needed relief for families across the country. This recovery package also increases the temporary emergency contingency fund (TANF) amount by $3 billion to provide states like Michigan with additional funding.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ($16.5 billion)
Families across our country should not have to worry about putting food on the table. This package 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.
Community Services Block Grant ($200 million)
We need to make sure services are available to assist families during these tough times. This package provides funding to local community action agencies (CAAs) for services to low-income families hurt by the economic crisis, especially in the areas of housing and mortgage counseling, job skills training; food pantry assistance, and outreach and enrollment initiatives. Michigan would receive an estimated $7.4 million in CSBG funding.
HOME Investment Partnerships Program ($2.25 billion)
The housing crisis has left many low-income families without a place to call home. This bill provides grant funding to enable state and local governments, in partnership with community-based organizations, to acquire, construct, and rehabilitate affordable housing and provide rental assistance to poor families. Michigan would receive $49 million in HOME block grant funding.
Redevelopment of Abandoned and Foreclosed Homes ($2.25 billion)
Many areas have been particularly hard hit by a growing number of foreclosures. This legislation allows states, cities, and nonprofits to be able to compete for funding, which will be used to support the communities hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.
Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children ($500 million)
Mothers and children should have access to nutritional food to stay healthy. This package provides $500 million in federal funding for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant women and to children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk. In addition, the bill provides $150 million for food banks.
Child Care Development Block Grant ($2 billion)
Many families across Michigan cannot afford the price of day care. This package provides quality child care services for an additional 300,000 children in low-income families who increasingly are unable to afford the high cost of day care. Michigan would receive roughly $58 million in funding, covering an additional 12,860 children.
Meal Service Programs for Seniors ($100 million)
Many of our seniors live on a strict fixed income and have difficulty paying for their meals in the struggling economy. This plan provides funding to help senior meal programs cope with steep increases in food and duel costs. The funding will also provide for the service of 30 million additional meals, and help prevent further reductions in meal deliveries.
Providing Tax Cuts for Working Families, Businesses, and Communities:
Making Work Pay Credit ($142 billion)
This recovery package puts money into the pockets of families who need it most. Ninety-percent of American workers will receive $500 in extra cash with married couples who file jointly receiving $1000.
One-time Payments to Seniors, Disabled Veterans, and Others ($17 billion)
Those who may not qualify for the making work pay credit, such as seniors, disabled veterans, and others, will receive a one-time payment of $300 in tax relief.
Tax Cuts for Families ($15 billion)
Hardworking parents with three or more children will receive additional cash through an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit while other families will become eligible for the refundable child tax credit and additional marriage penalty relief.
Tax Cuts for Homeowners ($18.9 billion)
For families and individuals looking to buy a principal residence, this package provides a $15,000 tax credit for home purchases made within a year of enactment.
Alternative Minimum Tax Relief ($70 billion)
This legislation helps provide relief to up to 24 million Americans from the Alternative Minimum Tax.
Tax Cuts for College Tuition and Education ($13 billion)
Individuals in need of financial assistance to attend college will receive a $2,500 higher education tax credit available for the first four years of college.
Net Operating Loss Carry Back Period
There is also no question that businesses have been particularly hit hard by the economic recession. However, the need for businesses to create jobs and invest in America is crucial to our economic recovery. That is why this recovery package allows start-up companies and struggling firm with the capitol needed to makes these investments.
New Market Tax Credits ($3 billion)
These investments are even more critical in low-income communities, where the need to create jobs is even more important. This package includes $1.5B for 2008 projects that didn't get funded and $1.5B more for 2009 projects.
Build America Bonds
It's imperative that our state and local governments receive new tax credits for new capital projects. Because the market for tax credits is currently small given current economic conditions, the recovery package would allow state or local governments 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.
Qualified Zone Academy and School Construction Bonds ($6.4 billion)
Our schools and communities are also strapped for funding. This recovery package allocates $1.4 billion in loans to qualifying schools and communities to borrow at little or no cost.
Other Key Spending Provisions for Michigan:
Title I Funding ($12.4 billion)
All of our children deserve the best possible resources in our public schools. Michigan would receive Title I funding to help close the achievement gap and enable disadvantaged students to reach their potential.
Special Education Funding ($13 billion)
Children with special needs and learning disabilities cannot be left behind. This recovery package increases the Federal share of special education services to its highest level ever. Michigan would receive $464 million for special education instruction needs.
National Science Foundation Funding ($1.2 billion)
Investing in our scientific infrastructure is critical to growing our economy. This recovery package provides $150 million for scientific infrastructure, $1 billion to help America compete globally, and $50 million for competitive grants to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
Law Enforcement Support Initiatives ($3.5 billion)
Our communities rely on law enforcement when emergencies arise. This package will provide additional resources to our law enforcement. Michigan would receive additional funding to support state and local law enforcement efforts.