Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
On February 17, 2009 President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The act represents a significant investment in our country´s future in the face of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. The White House predicts that the ARRA will create or save three to four million jobs, 90 percent of them in the private sector. The act provides a total of $789.5 billion in spending and tax cuts over two years.
According to the White House the money is distributed to the following categories:
- $288 billion Tax Relief
- $144 billion - State and Local Fiscal Relief
- $111 billion Infrastructure and Science
- $81 billion Protecting the Vulnerable
- $59 billion Health Care
- $53 billion Education and Training
- $43 billion Energy
- $8 billion Other
The Governor´s Office of Economic Recovery is tasked to track New Hampshire´s handling of federal stimulus funds as well as state-level economic recovery initiatives. These tasks include:
- Tracking all federal money directed to state and local governments as well as to private businesses and non-profit organizations.
- Maximize New Hampshire´s use of available federal stimulus funds.
- Identify the most efficient ways to move the stimulus money into the economy and to remove any regulatory and/or other issues that slow the process.
- Establish communication with federal and state agencies, local governments and New Hampshire´s Congressional delegation that will serve to assist in efficient and rapid use the federal stimulus money.
- Develop a communications network, using a variety of tools including the Internet, to keep the public informed about the status and progress of the recovery effort, along with funding opportunities.
- Measure and report on the progress of the economic recovery efforts.
On January 17, 2009 Governor John Lynch issued an Executive Order creating an Office of Economic Stimulus within the Governor’s Office. At that time, Governor Lynch appointed state Deputy Attorney General Orville “Bud” Fitch as the Director of the Office. Currently, Christopher “Chris” Clement is the Director and Deputy Attorney General Orville “Bud” Fitch has resumed his full time schedule at the Department of Justice. The Office of Economic Stimulus is charged with assisting the Governor and state agencies in the management and expenditure of federal stimulus funds. This office will be responsible for administering or distributing the federal stimulus funds.
The U.S. Department of Labor Web site www.dol.gov.cobra provides guidance and Frequently Asked Questions on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act COBRA opportunities. An Employee Benefits Advisor can also be reached at (866)-444-3272.
All New Hampshire American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds will be tracked separately in the State’s accounting system with a unique code to identify funds as ARRA. All bids, requests for proposals, grants, and awards will be posted on the NH Recovery Web site. Federal Inspectors have received additional funding to monitor ARRA compliance while all recipients of grants and contracts will be required to give federal officials access to records and staff. Finally, ARRA does provide additional whistle blower protections.
Arrange a meeting with a financial lender, usually your bank, and then work with that lender to contact the Small Business Administration if a loan guarantee is necessary for your lender to make the loan. SBA does not make direct loans, but ARRA has authorized significant new assistance for small business.
No funds have been identified which provide general funds for public libraries. However, the Broadband appropriation does include funds for competitive grants to expand and promote the use of Internet access at public libraries. The State Librarian and the Community College System of New Hampshire are organizing New Hampshire's efforts to obtain these competitive grant funds.
Generally, no. Federal grant funds must be used to supplement, not supplant or replace state and local funds. Some eligible schools will receive additional Title I and IDEA funds. In certain circumstances some limited flexibility exists. The State of NH Department of Education must approve the spending of these funds.
|Belknap & Merrimack||800-856-5525|
Yes, the NH State Council for the Arts is accepting grant applications for a program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. www.nh.gov/nharts/recovery/nhrecovery_arra_nhscaguidelines.html
Visit the NH Recovery Web site - www.nh.gov/recovery where a list of programs has been identified. Click on the tab across the top of the main page for the program areas that interest you, then open and read the program summaries.
Priority for funding will be given to "shovel ready" projects - those that have the requisite planning, ownership of necessary resources, environmental and historical review approvals and permits in place - so that federal funds can be spent as quickly as possible, putting citizens to work and injecting dollars into the economy.
Funding is provided for a range of federal programs. Funding will increase or extend certain benefits payable under the Medicaid, unemployment compensation and nutrition assistance programs. Funding will also reduce individual and corporate income tax and make other changes to tax laws.
The funding will support programs that:
- Create framework for clean, efficient, energy
- Transform our economy with science and technology
- Modernize roads, bridges, transit and waterways
- Overhaul education for the 21st century
- Dispense tax cuts to create jobs
- Expand access to health care and lower costs
- Provide assistance to workers hurt by the economy
- Save public sector jobs and protect vital services
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides funding for 100+ programs. Funding is delivered in various ways, including grants based on formulas, competitive grants and discretionary grants. Funds flow through these existing programs which are managed by either State or federal agencies. Those seeking ARRA funds have to apply to those programs.
Most tax incentives in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are tied to the federal tax code. The Internal Revenue Service is your best source of information - www.irs.gov. The IRS recovery site has specific information about ARRA - www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204335,00.html
For each funding opportunity in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, either a federal government agency or a state government department will make eligibility determinations for funding. In most cases, the eligibility criteria are already established under previously established federal and state statutes and regulations. In some cases, the federal government is writing new regulations and guidance to determine the eligibility and selection process. For the most part the State of New Hampshire Departments have little or no discretion on the permitted purposes for the funds.
If the State is getting millions in federal funding under the recovery package, how does that help the State budget?
There are some appropriations in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which help provide the State with some budget relief, such as the increase in the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP) matching rate, as well as the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund which provides support for K-12 and higher education. Some of the other appropriations will help to address increased demand for social services, or other safety-net programs.