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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stimulus Speed Bumps

The AP yesterday ran a story detailing the newest “speed bump” to the President’s stimulus bill: state lawmakers.
Speed is supposed to define President Barack Obama's $787 billion federal stimulus plan, but that theory is being tested in statehouses from Jefferson City, Mo., to Sacramento, Calif. The bulk of more than $250 billion going through state governments requires legislative appropriation or review. … [L]egislatures rarely move fast, and even the sharpest number crunchers in statehouses still don't have a grip on all the details and implications of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The AP points out that more than 7,000 lawmakers in all 50 states will have the opportunity to impact how the stimulus will be spent. This process is likely to slow the release of funds at every level, and even more so when there are significant ideological disputes related to the funding.

In New Hampshire, where local spending is truly controlled by local governments via town meetings and warrant articles, the process of distributing funds could face compounded delays.

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