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Morning Cup of Stimulus: Sorting Out the Cash

This is the latest from our stimulus blog.

benderbending/Flickr; Krista Kjellman/ProPublicaFederal agencies and state legislatures are churning out plans to spread around stimulus funding that sometimes conflict with the versions on display when the bill passed. New Orleans education officials were surprised to learn that, instead of the $39 million Congress planned to send them for teaching disadvantaged students, they could receive $672,554, according to a Department of Education report (PDF). The earlier estimates used pre-Hurricane Katrina enrollment numbers, while the latest are based on the 2007 student population. Meanwhile, North Dakotans have seen their estimated share of the stimulus swell to more than $650 million as additional pots, like funds for Medicaid payments and water projects, are added to their bounty.

Some state governors, like South Carolina's Mark Sanford, a Republican, are trying to downsize their portions on purpose. A leading Democrat on the Hill, Jim Clyburn, also of South Carolina, inserted a provision into the stimulus bill that would allow state legislatures to bypass governors who oppose the funding. However, a new Congressional Research Service report says the constitution may favor the governors. The report says that provision may blur the separation of power between the branches of state governments, McClatchy reports.

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