To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Nebraska 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 Nebraska 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 $400 million back in the pockets of more than 700,000 hard-working Nebraska families.
  • $11,799,352 to support child care for working families.


  • $18,810,300 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
  • $41,644,458 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
  • $30,910,000 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.


  • $437,326,006 potentially available to Nebraska 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:

  • $1,520,481 to expand services at 6 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 9,664 patients and create or save a projected 25 jobs.
  • $562,321 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
  • $47,843,363 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.
  • $1,314,349 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.


  • $235,589,279 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
  • $23,309,592 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.

Law Enforcement:

  • More than $13.1 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.

Stimulus Funds Will Be Used to Create a Summer Jobs Program for 480 Youth and Young Adults in Omaha. "Omaha will use $1.6 million in federal stimulus money to create a summer jobs program for 480 youth and young adults in the area, Mayor Mike Fahey announced today. Starting June 1, the Summer Youth Program will help train and find temporary jobs for those age 16 to 24. The jobs will mostly be in the public and nonprofit sectors, such as the City of Omaha, the Omaha Housing Authority, Goodwill Industries and others. The goal of the program is to give participants work experience and skills that will help the them find jobs in the future, Fahey said. At the end of the summer, they can attend a career workshop to learn how to write a resume and cover letter and improve their interview skills. ‘The wages paid will not only provide youth with income, but the money they spend will have a positive impact on our local economy,’ Fahey said." [Omaha World-Herald, 4/1/09]

Governor Announced $3.75 Million of Nebraska’s $40.5 Million for Wastewater and Drinking Water Projects Would Go to Omaha’s Sewer Separation Project."The federal stimulus package will give a $3.75 million boost to Omaha’s sewer separation project. Gov. Dave Heineman announced today that half of the money will be provided as a low-interest loan and half as a grant. It will be matched with a $3.75 million low-interest loan from a state revolving loan fund. The Omaha project is just one of several water-related projects that will benefit from the federal stimulus funds. Nebraska is expected to get about $21 million for priority improvements to wastewater treatment facilities and another $19.5 million for upgrades to public drinking water systems." [Omaha World-Herald, 3/4/09]

Lincoln Police Chief’s Ideas for Stimulus Spending Include Updating Crime Scene Van and Forensics Lab, Faster Communication Devices in Patrol Cars."Nebraska law enforcement officials are … looking over lists of projects they could fund once the money becomes available… Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady said he wants to see Lincoln's piece of the $1.4 million go toward … video cameras for all patrol cars; updates to the forensics lab; an upgrade or replacement for the department's crime scene van, which is a 1991 model; converting statement and interview tapes from analog to digital; buying a mobile command post; and faster data transmission for computers in patrol cars. ‘It's going to be a matter of prioritizing,’ Casady said." [Omaha World-Herald, 3/6/09]

Nebraska Dam Will Be Upgraded Thanks to Stimulus Funds "A small watershed dam southwest of Blair is getting an upgrade, thanks to the $787 billion federal stimulus package. The federal government will cover 65 percent of the approximately $1.5 million dam project, while the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District picks up the rest of the tab. The dam's water flows into the Big Papio Creek. The project will raise the height of the dam and make other improvements to help protect downstream areas, said Marlin Petermann, assistant general manager of the NRD…Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb. called attention to the project. ‘Not only will this funding help revitalize Nebraska's economy by creating jobs and supporting local businesses that provide needed products and services, it is also a much-needed investment in our public health and safety,’ he said." [Omaha World-Herald, 4/8/09]

Nebraska Law Enforcement Officials Hope to Use Money to Combat Drugs. "Sarpy County Sheriff Jeff Davis, Papillion Police Chief Leonard Houloose and Scottsbluff Police Chief Alex Moreno all said they hope to use Byrne grant money to restore funding for multiagency drug task forces. Moreno said earlier cutbacks in federal funds had threatened the continued existence of the Western Intelligence & Narcotics Group." [Omaha World-Herald, 3/6/09]

Lakeview Seeks Stimulus Funds for High School Improvement Projects. "The Lakeview Community Schools Board of Education approved nearly $75,700 in communication improvements to Lakeview High School during its meeting Monday... Superintendent Paul Calvert said the decision to move forward with the high school improvements was timed so the work would be conducted in conjunction with the new sprinkler installation. Calvert said the costs for wiring and system installation were reduced because the ceiling would already be open for the sprinkler installation. And with the report the six-room addition to the high school building was under budget, as well as the potential for the Lakeview School District to receive as much as $370,000 in stimulus funding, he said now was the perfect time to capitalize on these needed improvements. ‘We are hoping to get (the projects) approved through the stimulus plan,’ Calvert said." [Columbus (Nebraska) Telegram, 4/14/09]


Sen. Ben Nelson Announced That Nebraska Will Receive $1.73 In Stimulus Funds To Help Reduce Emissions From Diesel Engines. "Nebraska will get $1.73 million from the federal stimulus package to help reduce emissions from diesel engines. Sen. Ben Nelson announced the award on Wednesday, calling it good for the state’s economy and environment. He said in a news release it could create green-collar jobs in the state." [Journal Star, 4/9/09]