Federal Stimulus

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Vice President Joe Biden declared here Wednesday that the best cure for the nation's economic ills was to step up the transportation and construction spending that made America great. 

Courtesy McCormack Baron Salazar

A historic St. Louis School building has a new lease on life as a new development in north city’s 22nd Ward.

The Arlington School, designed by pioneering St. Louis Architect William Ittner was built in 1898.  The school was closed in 1994 and fell into extreme disrepair.  I filed a story for NPR in 2009 about ten of Ittner's schools, including Arlington, which were facing uncertain futures.

Stimulus help to states comes to a close

Jun 29, 2011
(via Flickr/iChaz)

A federal stimulus program to help stabilize state budgets is coming to a close tomorrow. The government provided some $90 billion in emergency funds to help state government get past collapsing tax revenues, and help pay for such services as education and health care. Now, states are having to slash spending.

Adam Allington reports for Marketplace, that states are bracing for some painfully difficult decisions. When it comes to making some budget cuts, their hands are tied.

Listen for the report tonight on Marketplace, starting at 6 p.m.

Harrison Sweazea, Mo. Senate Communications Office

Updated 1:32 p.m. May 4:

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says the all-night filibuster in the Missouri Senate of a capital improvements bill containing federal stimulus funds was "political theatrics."

McCaskill, a Democrat, says she understands that the four Republican Senators are trying to send a message to Washington, and that message has been received loud and clear.

"The people that they're really filibustering against are the people of Missouri, because those projects that are funded are creating jobs," McCaskill said. "Our economy is recovering and most importantly it's funding public education in Missouri."

Updated:  7:00 a.m. May 4:

A group of four Republican senators have ended their all-night filibuster of a capital improvements bill that contains more than $465 million in federal stimulus funds.

They began blocking the bill Tuesday afternoon after their attempt to shrink the bill by $41 million was rebuffed by the Senate.

(via Flickr/yomanimus)

Missouri is lagging in its use of federal stimulus money intended to make homes more energy efficient for low-income residents.

Missouri received nearly $129 million in home weatherization funds for low-income residents under the 2009 federal stimulus bill. As of the end of January, just $47 million of that had been spent. That amounts to 37 percent of the total.

Good morning! Here are a few of today's starting headlines:

  • Missouri lawmakers are preparing to start redrawing the state's congressional districts. Officials said Monday they expect to get more detailed population data from the U.S. Census Bureau this week. Missouri is losing one of its nine congressional districts, based on the statewide population figures released earlier. The new details of where people are living will hep the Legislature as it draws the eight new districts. The chairmen of the House and Senate  redistricting committees are planning to hold public hearings in several places around Missouri. They hope to complete the hearings in the next couple of weeks and will begin developing new congressional maps after that.
  • The Missouri House is to begin debate soon on a plan to use $189 million of additional federal stimulus money for public schools. The House plan would use some of that money to offset shortfalls in casino tax revenues that were to go to schools. But most of the additional federal money would be used to offset state revenues already budgeted for schools this year  - allowing the state money to be saved and distributed to schools next year. House Majority Leader Tim Jones said the chamber could debate the legislation as soon as Tuesday. The House plan would maintain a more steady funding stream for schools than one originally proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon. His plan would have boosted school funding this year and cut it next year.
  • According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Humane Society of Missouri has received custody of 74 dogs from a licensed breeder after investigators found the dogs malnourished and living in their own waste. State investigators found the Collies and Bichon Frises living in crates in a double-wide trailer on the breeder's Stone County property in southwest Missouri. One dog had to euthanized. The Post-Dispatch reports that examinations found several of the dogs suffered from dehydration, malnutrition, ear and respiratory infections, as well as internal parasites.