February 13, 2009
Washington D.C. — Nevada Senator Harry Reid announced today that Nevada will receive more than $1 billion for transportation and modernization projects, investments in renewable energy and education and assistance for the unemployed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Through investments including $250 million in local transportation projects, these federal dollars will create 34,000 Nevada jobs, cut taxes for the middle class, sustain endangered state services and invest in Nevada’s future. The bill passed the House of Representatives earlier today and is now up for a vote in the Senate.
“This recovery package is going to be good for Nevada,” Reid said. “It will create jobs in our state while improving our roads, bridges and public transportation. It also cuts taxes for working families who are struggling just to get by. And tax incentives will create renewable energy jobs, putting Nevadans to work turning our abundant natural resources into the energy we need to power our state.”
In addition to creating jobs, this bill helps those who are currently out of work as well as struggling middle-class families.
“As our unemployment rate continues to rise, I am trying to help those who have lost their jobs. The package increases unemployment insurance benefits by $100 a month for 195,000 workers who have been laid off in this recession. It also provides $450 million of assistance for Nevada's Medicaid program by increasing the federal matching rate to ensure that Nevada, despite its budget crisis, will still be able sustain Medicaid and Nevada Check Up.”
Good-Paying Jobs for Nevada:
Economic recovery funds create 34,000 jobs in Nevada, 90 percent of which will be in the private sector.
- Transportation Jobs: This investment provides the funding for hundreds of ready-to-go infrastructure projects that can put people to work within a matter of months.
- Green Jobs: The extension of renewable-energy tax credits create incentives for companies to invest in Nevada. The construction of a 100-megawatt solar power plant could generate 817 new jobs.
- Modernization Jobs: Some of this funding will be directed to updating government buildings to increase energy efficiency. This will not only save Nevada’s cities and towns money in energy costs, but also puts people to work implementing these changes.
Tax Cuts for the Middle Class:
Nearly 30 percent of the economic recovery plan consists of tax relief directed at Nevada’s hardworking middle class.
- Tax cuts for working Nevadans: Each individual is eligible for up to $400 in tax relief and families could receive a cut of up to $800. The plan also expands eligibility for the child tax credit for families of 118,000 children.
- Tax cuts for housing: A tax credit of $8,000 for homebuyers will help Nevadans invest in a home and move the excess supply of houses off the market.
- Tax cuts for vehicles: The recovery plan provides a temporary deduction for non-itemizers for sales tax paid on the purchase of a car or truck, allowing more people to get the vehicle they need and helping the beleaguered auto industry.
- Tax Relief for Higher Education Costs: The bill expands the HOPE education credit for higher education tuition to make it easier for families to afford the cost of going to college. The maximum credit is increased to $2,500 and expanded to cover four years of college.
Investing in Nevada’s Future:
The bill provides millions to prevent cuts to education, to make college more affordable, and invest in early childhood education.
- Investing in our students: The plan expands in early childhood education, provides $3.7 million to improve and expand technology in Nevada schools, and invests millions to help students meet high academic standards. Funding will also be provided for school modernization creating better buildings, classrooms, and laboratories and putting people to work on these projects.
- Investing in their future: The bill also increases Pell grants by $500 so that more parents can afford to send their children to college creating a stronger, more educated and more competitive workforce for the future.
- Investing in our schools: Due to the state’s fiscal situation, Nevada’s schools and universities face deep cuts. This bill provides $400 million flexible funding for Nevada’s schools, colleges, and universities to help prevent teacher layoffs, reduced services, or increased tuition. Nevada may also be eligible to apply for a waiver to remove the requirement that the state match federal funding.
Embracing the Clean Energy Revolution:
This bill encourages increasing energy efficiency and conservation and helps Nevada with renewable energy programs.
- Increasing efficiency: Nevada will receive about $30 million for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. The structure of this funding encourages utilities to integrate energy efficiency into their portfolio and for states to adopt more ambitious building codes that will save energy. The State can also compete for $400 million grants for continued efficiency and conservation projects.
- Preparing for the future: This plan invests approximately $38 million in weatherization and building improvements.
- Nevada communities will receive around $25 million for energy efficiency and conservation programs through a block grant program funded for the first time.
- Billions in new financing options for building and improving transmission capacity to promote development of Nevada’s world-class renewable energy resources
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