Rhode Island

To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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 $200 million back in the pockets of more than 400,000 hard-working Rhode Island families.
  • $5,224,128 to support child care for working families.


  • $14,521,300 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
  • $20,073,615 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
  • $23,960,000 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.


  • 265,990,490 dollars potentially available to Rhode Island 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:

  • $2,391,700 to fund new Community Health Centers, which will serve an estimated 7,380 patients and create a projected 55 jobs.
  • $1,999,160 to expand services at 8 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 16,607 patients and create or save a projected 33 jobs.
  • $485,000 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
  • $93,509,354 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.
  • $806,923 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.


  • $137,095,725 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
  • $29,552,290 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.

Law Enforcement:

  • More than $9.4 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.

RI Department of Transportation Official Said Funding Expected to Produce 5,000 Total Jobs. "The state Department of Transportation can start awarding the first $10 million in contracts for bridge and highway projects using federal economic stimulus money released yesterday, officials said. Department spokesman Charles St. Martin said that means only the weather will be holding up construction and that work will probably start in early April. ‘When the weather’s right, they’ll be able to begin,’ he said… Rhode Island’s share of that is $138.5 million. The Federal Highway Administration immediately approved funds for seven Rhode Island projects, paving the way for the DOT to award contracts and then begin construction, said Peter W. Osborn, the federal agency’s administrator for Rhode Island. Those are among 15 projects the DOT has advertised for bids from contractors. Osborn said his agency expects to approve money for the remaining eight projects this week. The DOT has identified 53 projects for the state’s share of stimulus money… The DOT estimates that all the projects will create 1,600 jobs directly, for ironworkers, carpenters, laborers pouring concrete and other construction workers. The projects will create an additional 3,400 jobs indirectly, the DOT says." [Providence Journal, 3/4/09]

Stimulus-Funded Airport Projects in Rhode Island Will Create an Estimated 150 Jobs. "The state’s airport agency has received $6.2 million in federal stimulus money for repairs and improvements at Quonset State Airport and Newport State Airport, the agency announced Wednesday afternoon. The Rhode Island Airport Corporation, the state agency that operates T.F. Green Airport, Quonset, Newport and several other state airports, said $3.5 million will go to Quonset and $2.7 million will go to Newport. Sen. Jack Reed said, ‘These projects are shovel-ready and will put an estimated 150 Rhode Islanders to work upgrading runways and lighting to make these airports safer and more efficient.’ Those 150 jobs include the design work for the projects, which is already under way, as well as construction, which is expected to begin in July and finish by the end of the year… The Quonset money will be used to rebuild, mark and light Taxiway A, a paved surface about 2,600 feet long and 75 feet wide. Quonset is home to Rhode Island Air National Guard facilities. The main runway there, at 7,500 feet, is the longest paved runway in the state. The Newport money will be used to rebuild, mark and light one of the two runways there." [The Providence Journal, 4/16/09]

Rhode Island Signed Its First Stimulus Contract – Work Is Set to Begin in 4 Weeks Creating 32 Direct Jobs. "With the contract signed, the first road project funded with federal stimulus dollars could get underway in the next few weeks. During a ceremony at the State House Thursday afternoon, Governor. Donald Carcieri and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation signed a $2.4 million contract with D'Ambra Construction Company, Inc. The Warwick company will resurface Route 138 in Tiverton. Ground-breaking for the project is expected to take place in the next few weeks… It is estimated that a total of 1,500 direct jobs and 3,500 indirect jobs will be created from the entire RIDOT stimulus plan. Approximately 32 direct jobs are expected to be created from just this one stimulus project." [WPRI, 3/12/09]

Federal Courthouse In Providence Will Receive Stimulus Funds to Become Energy Efficient. "The federal courthouse in Kennedy Plaza, which underwent $18 million in renovations nine years ago, is receiving more green to go ‘green’ — some $3.9 million from the federal economic stimulus that will make it energy efficient. And the John O. Pastore Federal Building, across from the courthouse, is receiving $281,000 from the stimulus for energy efficiency as well. The building houses the downtown post office and some courtrooms and federal offices. ‘The Providence courthouse has long been admired for its architectural splendor, and this federal funding will help preserve the important landmark,’ U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said in a news release. He said, ‘This federal funding will quickly put more contractors, plumbers and electricians back to work.’" [The Providence Journal, 4/12/09]

Providence Business News: 2 R.I. health centers share stimulus aid President Barack Obama and the state’s congressional delegates today announced that two nonprofit community health centers in Rhode Island will share more than $2.39 million in federal stimulus aid. "We have acted quickly to put Recovery Act dollars to good use in communities across America," the president said in a joint statement this afternoon with U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Reps. Patrick J. Kennedy and James R. Langevin. The money is part of $155 million in grants for 126 community health centers nationwide included in the American American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) that the president announced today as he introduced Kathleen Sebelius, 60, now the governor of Kansas, as his nominee to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). LINK

Stimulus Funds Will Create 25 Construction Jobs In Rhode Island For A $2.4 Million Road Construction Project "The federal stimulus plan is putting hard hats to work on the highways of Maine, Rhode Island and Maryland, at least for now. They are some of the first beneficiaries of the U.S. government's stimulus plan to create jobs and rebuild the nation's transportation infrastructure…The Rhode Island Department of Transportation recently awarded a $2.4 million contract to Warwick-based D'Ambra Construction to resurface a road in Tiverton. As a result, Michael D'Ambra, the company president, said he expects to hire up to 25 workers for a contract that lasts until October." [CNN Money, 3/17/09]

Rhode Island Will Get $300,000 in Arts Funding From Stimulus "While arts-related stimulus spending hasn’t gotten much attention, it does exist, thanks to a $50-mllion provision within the stimulus legislation. Under the plan, $20 million in arts funding will go directly to the states, with Rhode Island expected to receive about $300,000. Meanwhile, another $30 million will be available to arts groups through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In both cases, the goal is the same: to protect existing arts jobs threatened by the economic downtown or refill jobs already lost to layoffs and cost-cutting… In his opening remarks at the Steel Yard, a former steel plant that now houses artists’ studios and classrooms, Whitehouse described the $300,000 in direct funding as "the bare minimum" local arts groups could expect from the stimulus package. He said grants from the larger pool of money available from the NEA could bring the state’s total closer to $800,000. ‘I’m convinced we can do a lot better than the minimum,’ he said." [Providence Journal, 3/21/09]


Local International Union of Operating Engineers President: Stimulus Projects Will Dramatically Affect Our Members. "Rhode Island’s latest share of the federal stimulus money is expected to create immediate jobs for many unemployed construction workers. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is expected to receive about $138 million in federal money, to repair local roads and bridges. As a result, Governor Don Carcieri says he wants at least 15 road and bridge projects underway by next month. And that’s good news for local construction workers and laborers. ‘This will dramatically affect our members,’ says Jim White, president of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 57, whose union is coping with its highest unemployment rate since the 1970s." [WPRI.com, 3/5/09]