January 29, 2009

Thursday Headlines: House Passes Stimulus Bill, Heads to Senate

Posted in California, Michigan, National, Wisconsin at 6:51 pm by bengann

Yesterday, the House passed the $819 billion economic stimulus bill by a vote of 244-188. No Republicans supported the bill and 11 Democrats joined the House GOP in opposition. The legislation has up to $19 billion in funding for environmental infrastructure, including $6 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)  and $2 billion Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).

The bill now goes to the Senate where it will be considered next week. Senate Appropriations has proposed $4 billion for the CWSRF and $2 billion for the DWSRF.

Boston Globe Misleads on Stimulus
In it’s headline “Only 5 Percent of $819b Plan Would Go Toward Infrastructure,” the Boston Globe says that only $42 billion in the House stimulus package will be spent on infrastructure. Wrong. The statistic they refer to is only for surface transportation and fails to recognize all the other infrastructure investment–including funding for water and wastewater projects–that is in the bill.

Some critics of the stimulus have fairly pointed out that more money in the bill should be devoted to infrastructure. But by just doing my back of the envelope math there is at least $90 billion in infrastructure funding in the House legislation. Should there be more money for infrastructure in the bill? Probably, but given the chronic under investment in infrastructure by the federal government it is a step in the right direction and the Boston Globe story portrays the bill as having much less infrastructure investment than it actually does.

Clean Water Council Released Jobs Study
The Clean Water Council (CWC) has released a new economic impact report produced by the globally-respected PA Consulting Group’s Market Analytics Division (PA) supporting the contention that investment in clean water infrastructure creates significant economic benefits right away. The report finds that for every $1 billion in investment in water infrastructure nearly 27,000 jobs are created.

Sewer Rate News
Cassopolis, Michigan
Milpitas, California
Waupun, Wisconsin

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