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Morning Cup: Home State Advantage

benderbending/Flickr; Krista Kjellman/ProPublicaA senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco predicts the federal stimulus will do better than current forecasts predict. Relief targeted toward state Medicaid and unemployment insurance programs should have a strong impact, said Daniel Wilson. But he questioned whether billions for transportation will go to the states hit hardest by the downturn. We wondered the same thing.

One group seems to be reaping big rewards: alternative energy companies. The NASDAQ Clean Edge Total Return Index, which measures changes in renewable energy stocks, has jumped more than 25 percent in the last month.

The McClatchy news bureau pointed out yesterday that President Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois has started more stimulus-funded projects than any other state. Check out our analysis of federal transportation data on how states are using stimulus money. 

Project of the day: The Harris County sheriff wants to spend about $7 million in federal stimulus money to lease and staff a helicopter, buy a covert surveillance van and add machine guns to boats that patrol the Houston Ship Channel, the Houston Chronicle reports.

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