Monday, February 15, 2010

Report: Florida slow to spend stimulus dollars

So how has Florida benefited from the almost $7.7 billion in federal stimulus dollars delivered here in the year since President Barack Obama signed the measure into law?

Not much, according to the Orlando Sentinel:
Targeted for everything from road projects to teachers' salaries, green-energy programs to cancer research, the money was sent with orders to spend it as quickly as possible to put people to work and help lift the economy out of the recession.

But by the end of 2009, only 15 cents of every dollar sent to Florida had been spent, one of the lowest rates in the country, according to an Orlando Sentinel analysis of federal-stimulus-grant progress reports.

What's more, the money created or saved just 34,966 jobs. The bulk of them -- 30,647 full-time jobs -- were credited to the $5.5 billion of stimulus dollars administered by state government. But all but about 5,000 of them were teachers, counselors and other public-school employees targeted for layoffs.

Meanwhile, Florida's work force lost nearly 1.1 million jobs in 2009 -- and the unemployment rate increased from 9.4 percent to 11.8 percent.
Accompanying the story is a link to a database where you can search where exactly in the Sunshine State the money. There are enough disclaimers to make you wonder how complete the database is, but a quick search found that much of the money targeted, for example, forManatee County government had not been spent as of Dec. 31.

The Sentinel report jibes with a similar story by the Bradenton Herald's Duane Marsteller last week on how less than half of the Florida transportation projects slated for stimulus funding were actually under contract.


  1. Typical Republican obstructionism.

  2. Quick, FL needs to spend that $2 Million for that turtle tunnel under the highway. I can't even count how many jobs that will save.