Today's roundup of stimulus coverage:
Last week the administration released guidelines for counting jobs created by the stimulus. The guidelines, like the administration's early estimates for stimulus job-creation, have stirred up some debate. Now we're seeing the guidelines put into practice, and officials in Texas estimate that more jobs are being saved than created, according to an article in today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The Obama administration peppered the stimulus package with provisions emphasizing the need to use federal funds for projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. So states have begun to ramp up energy-saving efforts, from weatherizing homes and installing wind-energy systems in schools to installing solar water heaters in fire stations and using energy-efficient LED bulbs in streetlights. The stimulus also promoted the purchase of plug-in electric cars. But a recent report from the Government Accountability Office found that because the electricity for electric cars is generated by coal-burning plants, it might just be a case of trading one greenhouse-gas emitter for another. “For plug-ins to reach their full potential,” the report says, “electricity would need to be generated from lower-emission fuels such as nuclear and renewable energy rather than the fossil fuels -- coal and natural gas -- used most often to generate electricity today.”
The Seattle Times reports that stimulus-funded jobs have been offered to almost 300 youths in four northwestern Washington counties, including six who now work at a fish hatchery.
As has been reported before, many states are dusting off plans for road and bridge reconstruction efforts and using stimulus money to fund them. In Kansas, for instance, the Department of Transportation is "allowing the state to complete all the projects it outlined 10 years ago under its comprehensive program," reports the AP. States have until June 30 to decide how to spend half of their highway funds. Projects that have already been designed have, according to reports, largely been favored over new ones.
Roughly $500,000 of the $2.5 billion in stimulus funds for free and low-cost health clinics is making its way through the system. Today, Capitol Hill Blue documents some of the ways that clinics are using the funds, from routine dental checkups for homeless youths in Colorado to opening up doors to more patients in Pennsylvania.