Friday, February 20, 2009

A Quick Look at the Stimulus Bill

The cuts from the Stimulus Bill seem to have come primarily from the proposed expenditures associated with the military and defense needs.

The Association of Defense Communities reports the only funding dedicated to help communities either redevelop closing bases or adjust to mission growth was struck from the compromise version. $300 million for environmental cleanup of bases closed during the first four BRAC rounds was stripped from final legislation. The measure contains no other funds devoted to BRAC needs.

ADC noted Governors are allocated dollars before they are distributed to local authorities. Defense communities leaders are left concerned with how much funding will be left over after other state needs. The final bill did retain a provision for $100 million to school systems that qualify for federal Impact Aid (school modernization, emergency repairs), funds for which districts in growth communities are potentially eligible.

The stimulus bill includes $2.8 billion for military construction, covering troop housing, warrior training complexes, child development centers and family housing - all relevant to Fort Lewis. The largest portion ($1.3 billion) goes to military hospitals.

For soldiers, $555 million is included for Homeowners Assistance, available to all military personnel who receive permanent orders to relocate, and to wounded warriors who are moving for medical reasons or to surviving spouses.

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