To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Hawaii families

Facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, President Obama started his Presidency with decisive action -- proposing and quickly passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  Since the bill went into effect, the ARRA has already helped put money back in the pockets of 95 percent of working Americans, created and saved jobs across the country and made key investments in our community to help kickstart the economy.  To ensure that the funds are spent efficiently and effectively, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with overseeing the implementation of ARRA, and projects have already begun to come in under budget across the country.   As the President prepares to introduce the details of his budget and further plans to revitalize the economy, here’s a look at how his policies have impacted Hawaii in the first three months of his administration.


Working Families:

  • Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $300 million back in the pockets of more than 500,000 hard-working Hawaii families.
  • $6,448,715 to support child care for working families.


  • $15,068,200 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
  • $4,041,461 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
  • $25,930,000 to the State Energy Program, available for rebates to consumers for energy saving improvements; development of renewable energy projects; promotion of Energy Star products; efficiency upgrades for state and local government buildings; and other innovative state efforts to help save families money on their energy bills.


  • $284,232,553 potentially available to Hawaii to lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help save thousands of teaching jobs at risk due to state and local budget cuts.

Health Care:

  • $3,160,689 to expand services at 18 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 14,969 patients and create or save a projected 71 jobs.
  • $485,000 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
  • $70,573,033 made available in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to protect health care for the families hit hard by the economic crisis and some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. 
  • $988,990 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.


  • $125,746,380 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
  • $43,837,375 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
  • $15 million for Kahului Airport to address safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.

Law Enforcement:

  • More than $10.7 million for state and local law enforcement assistance available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.  The JAG Program supports a variety of efforts such as hiring and support for law enforcement officers; multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces; crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives.


Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.

Federal Stimulus Funds Enabled Maui County To Avoid Job Cuts, Consider Hiring 15 More Employees. "The cover photo on Maui County's 2-inch-thick fiscal year 2010 budget packet was a symbolic choice, a rare silversword plant thriving on the volcanic rock of Haleakala, Mayor Charmaine Tavares said Friday. ‘We're still growing even though we're in some not-so-great soil,’ she said... Total county revenue for the operating and capital improvement budgets will go up 2 percent to $572 million for fiscal year 2010 over this year, according to her proposal. ‘No jobs have been cut,’ Tavares said during a packed news conference in the Planning Department conference room. In fact, she wants to add another 15 positions. The mayor's relatively sunny outlook… stems from property tax revenue increases from hotels and time-share properties, a significant infusion of federal stimulus and state revolving-fund dollars as well as funding cuts to county departments and nonprofits, among other things, she said." [The Maui News, 3/14/09]

Hawaii Set To Receive $183 Million For Repairs and New Construction at Pearl Harbor and Other Military Bases. "Several military bases in Hawaii will receive about $183 million from the recently enacted federal economic stimulus measure for repairs and new construction. According to Democratic Congressman Neil Abercrombie, the biggest chunk of money, more than $37 million, will finance wharf and pier upgrades at the Naval Station Pearl Harbor. Several naval installations around the state will share $32 million for photovoltaic arrays. About $31 million is slated for the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai for runway repairs. A similar amount is targeted for improvements to the Air Force’s Pacific headquarters at Hickam Air Force Base. The remainder will finance upgrades to roads, bridges, water systems and runways at other bases." [AP, 3/25/09]

Hawaii VA Center Will Receive Over $1 Million For Upgrades and Green Energy Project. "Veterans Affairs projects in Hawaii will get more than $1 million in federal stimulus funds. U.S. Sen Dan Inouye announced Monday the funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center at Tripler Medical Center and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific will receive the money for repairs, facility upgrades and a green energy project. Construction projects at Tripler will get $800,000 and an additional $50,000 will go towards a Matsunaga center energy project. The cemetery will get $192,574 for repairs." [Pacific Business News, 3/23/09]

KGMB (Staff Written) "$44M Released for Public Transportation in Hawaii: "Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel K. Inouye and Senator Daniel K. Akaka announced today that Hawaii will receive nearly $44 million for transit projects under the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly known as the economic stimulus bill. They also announced that Honolulu International Airport and Kahului Airport on Maui are under consideration for stimulus funding for explosive detection systems. Both airports are required to provide updated information on their explosive detection systems to the Transportation Security Administration. TSA will then evaluate the plans for readiness and cost assessments before determining if approval should be granted. LINK

Meals on Wheels Programs Receive $500,000 In Stimulus Funds To Help Homebound. "Nonprofit organizations that deliver meals to shut-ins will soon get a $500,000 chunk of President Obama's economic stimulus money. About $485,000 will be sent to Hawai'i for nutritional assistance as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The grant will help Lanakila Meals on Wheels take on some of the 300 people who have been on the group's waiting list, said Brandon Mitsuda, Lanakila Meals on Wheels deputy director. On a daily basis, the group's volunteers deliver meals to 750 qualified senior citizens around O'ahu. ‘Right now we're having such a hard time because of the economic downturn,’ Mitsuda said. ‘We have 300 seniors on a waiting list, and what's stopping them from coming in is funding.’ Another nonprofit that delivers meals, Hawai'i Meals on Wheels, serves anyone who is homebound and unable to provide a meal for themselves, said Claire Shimabukuro, program administrator. Each day, the group delivers 250 hot meals to people from 'Ewa Beach to Waimanalo, Mililani to Kane'ohe." [Honolulu Advertiser, 3/19/09]


14 Hawaiian Community Health Centers Facing Budget Shortfall To Receive Stimulus Funds. "Fourteen community health centers that serve low-income populations on six islands will share more than $2.7 million in federal economic stimulus funds. The financial aid comes as the centers face a possible cutback in state funding as the administration and lawmakers wrestle with a $75 million budget shortfall. The community centers received about $5.6 million last year for serving uninsured clients. The centers will receive the individual grants by later this month, according to an announcement from U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. The allocation of money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was based on a formula giving the centers an additional $19 per uninsured patient. The 14 centers served a total of 110,000 residents in 2007, according to Beth Giesting, chief executive of the Hawaii Primary Care Association. Inouye said the funding "is a reflection of the increased demand for services from community health centers during our tough economic times. It is a time when the working poor, the uninsured, and rural and high-risk populations must often choose between health care or putting food on the table," Inouye said in the announcement." [Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 3/17/09