On February 13, 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Four days later, the President signed the legislation into law. The Recovery Act’s three main goals are to:
- Create and save jobs
- Spur economic activity and invest in long-term economic growth
- Foster unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in government spending.
This $787 billion Recovery plan includes federal tax cuts and incentives, an expansion of unemployment benefits, and other spending on social entitlement programs. In addition, federal agencies are using Recovery funds to award contracts, grants, and loans around the country.
The Recovery Act’s longer-term economic investment goals include:
- Initiating a process to computerize health records to reduce medical errors and save on health care costs
- Investing in the domestic renewable energy industry
- Weatherizing 75 percent of federal buildings and more than one million homes
- Increasing college affordability for seven million students by funding the shortfall in Pell Grants, raising the maximum grant level by $500, and providing a higher education tax cut to nearly four million students
- Cutting taxes for 129 million working households by providing an $800 Making Work Pay tax credit
- Expanding the Child Tax Credit.
The Recovery Act was intended to jump start the economy, but many of the projects funded by Recovery money – especially those involving infrastructure improvements – are expected to contribute to economic growth for many years.
Impact on North Carolina
North Carolina will receive billions of dollars from ARRA, but we don’t know the final amount yet. The state will receive approximately $6.3 billion in direct allocations, but that number doesn’t include tax cuts. Meanwhile, federal agencies must still finalize their funding formulas. A large portion of the funds will be in the form of competitive grants that have yet to be awarded.
About $225 billion of the total Recovery funds will be awarded to states based on funding formulas. Our estimated $6.3 billion is about 2.8 percent of that $225 billion. In addition, we have identified more than $2.2 billion in grants that are coming to North Carolina, for an overall total so far of more than $8.6 billion.
The state’s $6.3 billion share of Recovery funding will be distributed as follows:
Department Program Amount Health & Human Services $ 2,744,680,111 State Fiscal Stabilization Fund $ 1,420,454,235 Transportation $ 838,831,242 Public Instruction $ 704,647,960 Administration $ 142,887,916 Environment & Natural Resources $ 137,068,500 Commerce $ 91,907,750 Local Public Housing Authorities $ 83,426,611 Employment Security Commission $ 69,698,780 NC Housing Finance Agency $ 52,152,687 Governor's Crime Commission $ 39,802,714 Local Governments $ 6,921,506 Local Education Agencies $ 4,941,010 Higher Education Institutions $ 4,777,000 Agriculture $ 3,876,000 Crime Control & Public Safety $ 1,110,000 Total $ 6,347,184,022