Report shows federal stimulus spending in Arkansas

As of Sept. 30, 2009, Arkansas has been awarded $1.1 billion in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Of that amount, $322.8 million has been received and $112.5 million has been expended.

The numbers were detailed in an executive report issued Tuesday (Nov. 3) from the Arkansas Office of Recovery and Reinvestment. (Link here to a PDF of the report provided by The City Wire’s content partner, TalkBusiness.net.)

The expenditures include money pumped into highway projects, home weatherization improvements, unemployment insurance and equipment for public schools.

Spending by various state agencies is documented in the report. The top five in terms of amount spent, are:
• Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department
Amount spent: $46.557 million
Amount received: $226.888 million

• Arkansas fiscal stabilization fund
Amount spent: $29.945 million
Amount received: $37.678 million

• Education
Amount spent: $20.812 million
Amount received: $17.778 million

• Employment Security (Unemployment services)
Amount spent: $8.823 million
Amount received: $8.4 million

• Human services
Amount spent: $7.803 million
Amount received: $8.111 million

The highway funding includes 50 completed projects that covered 160.48 miles, and 27 projects underway covering 47.41 miles.

State officials warn that it is too early to see the full effects of stimulus spending in Arkansas, but do note that 2,633 jobs in Arkansas were created or saved as a result of federal stimulus spending.

“It is too early to make any statements about the long-term effect the Recovery Act will have on Arkansas’ economy,” the report states. “Significant progress has been made in individual programs that have the potential of improving the lives of Arkansans throughout the life of the Recovery Act.”

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The report also warns against judging success of the funding in terms of job creation or salvation even though it singled out that 2,633 jobs were created or saved by the stimulus.

“The success of the Recovery Act cannot be measured solely in jobs saved or jobs created. A stated goal of the Act was to help those who have suffered most during the economic downturn.”

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