TRENTON – Governor Jon S. Corzine was joined by Senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg today in hosting a town hall meeting to discuss initiatives and funding opportunities through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The meeting brought together approximately 700 local, municipal and county officials who gained useful information from State and Federal presenters on how organizations can best access recovery assistance.
“Since the national economic downturn began, New Jersey has diligently worked toward comprehensive economic recovery,” said Governor Corzine. “We’re putting shovels in the ground with critical infrastructure projects, getting our residents back to work and providing a vital safety net for working families hardest hit by this economic crisis. Senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg have been our partners in this process and I thank them for their commitment to ensuring that New Jersey is getting the federal stimulus resources it needs to put the state on a path to resurgence.”
It is estimated that New Jersey will receive about $17.5 billion in total benefits from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act over three years. Of that total, approximately $10 billion will be allocated for critically-needed services, assistance, and infrastructure investment. About $7.3 billion will go back into the pockets of New Jersey residents and businesses in federal income tax cuts.
Another $240 billion will be available nationwide in additional tax benefits and competitive grant funds. New Jersey will access as many of these grants as possible to bring further benefits to citizens and businesses of the state. Based on White House estimates, the availability of Recovery Act dollars will create or save 100,000 jobs in New Jersey over the next two years.
“As a result of the numerous calls to my office, I thought it was important to give everyone the chance to meet face-to-face with the people who can bring you the most accurate up to date information on the Recovery Act,” said Senator Robert Menendez. “Government can and should help create an environment where industry can thrive, dreamers can innovate, workers can build a livelihood and save over the course of a lifetime; and the sooner we can provide a spark in this economy, the sooner we can create the conditions necessary for recovery and reinvestment. Today, we're here to find out the specifics, because the specifics matter. Ultimately, this kind of strong national action has to have an impact on the local level.”
“We need to get our economy back on track and the funding for New Jersey in this economic recovery package is an important step in the right direction. The Economic Recovery Act will help fund critical projects in our state, save businesses and create jobs. Today’s forum is an important venue to help New Jerseyans get the information and resources they need during these difficult times,” said Senator Frank Lautenberg.
Federal funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) passed by Congress and signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009, have been an excellent complement to New Jersey’s swift response to the global economic crisis announced by Governor Corzine in October 2008.
Through Governor Corzine’s Economic Recovery and Assistance Program, jobs are being generated through transportation and utility infrastructure projects, school construction and business assistance programs including the Main Street Assistance and INVEST NJ Business Grant programs. State investment in transportation and acceleration of transportation projects supported 9,410 direct jobs in March while the Schools Development Authority has created 1,449 jobs since December 2008.
New Jersey has provided as much information as possible for those seeking federal funding opportunities through its recovery website www.nj.gov/recovery. The website, which is updated daily, shows how money is being invested and provides technical assistance for those in need. Additionally, Governor Corzine set up the New Jersey Recovery Accountability Task Force to monitor the distribution of ARRA funds in the state and to promote the effective and efficient use of those funds.
For additional information on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, visit www.recovery.gov and www.nj.gov/recovery/.