Archive for Tuesday, January 6, 2009

State hoping for help from Obama, Congress

January 6, 2009


The expected economic stimulus package

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius discusses the stimulus package she anticipates states will receive under the direction of president-elect Barack Obama in 2009. The money would help bring new jobs to Kansas and help those hit hardest by the economic downturn. Enlarge video

— Facing huge budget holes, Kansas leaders are banking on assistance from incoming President Obama and the new Congress.

In an interview with the Lawrence Journal-World, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius expressed confidence that Obama would successfully push for a financial stimulus package that will help states.

“The goal is to get this money into the economy quickly,” Sebelius said.

The governor said that based on discussions between Obama and governors, including herself, the president-elect is considering a plan to help states with programs aimed at poor and unemployed people, and at infrastructure improvements.

“I think the package will include both of those directions,” she said.

Obama has been meeting in Washington with congressional leaders to outline his $775 billion plan, saying he hopes to have one signed into law with a few weeks. In addition to spending on government programs and projects, the plan would include tax cuts of up to $300 billion, according to reports.

On Tuesday, Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Deb Miller put two major road projects that had been delayed back in motion.

“All indications are there will be an economic stimulus package,” Miller said.

In November, Miller had suspended the planned expansion of Kansas Highway 61 in Reno County, and U.S. Highway 169 expansion in Montgomery County due to budget uncertainties. Together the projects are expected to cost more than $112 million.

But now Miller says KDOT will open bids on the projects Feb. 4.

“We decided that due to favorable prices right now, it is advantageous to the state to get those projects under contract quickly,” she said.

And Miller noted that once a federal stimulus package is approved “prices will go up.” But Miller said even if a federal plan fails to take shape, state officials can re-adjust some projects to get the K-61 and U.S. 169 projects going.


Steve Jacob 9 years, 3 months ago

I understand the infrastructure spending, but how does giving states money to basically pay off debts help the economy?

PacificGatePost 9 years, 3 months ago

Where is outrage over responsibility for the recession now that facts are clear in the rearview mirror? was evident then, it is even more evident now. Yet no feet are being held to the fire. Can we assume Madoff arrived just in time to take the brunt of it, deflecting all attention from where it should be focussed?

Godot 9 years, 3 months ago

.Sebelius is counting on her "pay to play " payoff from the Big-O to save Kansas' ruined budget, and cover over her deserved reputation as the most partisan, corrupt and incompetent governor ever in the history of the state of Kansas. If she succeeds in bringing to Kansas the payoff for her shilling for the Big-O, our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren will be beholden and made slaves to the government to pay off this massive debt.

Kevin Meier 9 years, 3 months ago

Some of your commenters (Godot) need to brush up on how the state got into a fiscal crisis. Do you know how much the state spends on the Medicaid Program every year? Do you know how much Kansas share of the costs are? In hard economic times, more individuals are on this ENTITLEMENT program at the same time there is less state revenue to cover the costs. Obama's plan would mean increasing the federal share (it is a federally mandated program) by 1 - 3%. That could shift state costs to the tune of $400 million back to the federal government. Do you realize we don't have the ability to have the state operate with debt, we are a cash basis state? Take a civics class before you accuse our governor of being corrupt or incompentent..but then again, you voted for Bush, didn't you. So this is really your fault after all.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 3 months ago

Expect the state to have to pony up some bucks to get noticed by the O'dude.

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