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Nevadans Looking For Long Term Bang From Stimulus Bucks


Thursday, February 26, 2009   

Las Vegas, NV – While a few republican governors are making headlines by declining a small portion of federal stimulus money, some Nevada lawmakers are taking a different course. They are holding a strategy session today to study how to get the most from the $1.5-billion in economic recovery money coming to the Silver State.

Bob Fulkerson, state director for the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN), will attend the strategy session and says the real concern for most Nevadans is that recovery dollars create long-term benefits.

"We want to make sure that we have a "greening" of these stimulus dollars in Nevada, so that every dollar spent will reap hundreds of dollars in the future in cost-savings for energy and water."

Nathan Newman, policy director with the Progressive States Network, says those getting stimulus dollars need to spell out how many jobs they are creating, and/or retaining.

"That kind of transparency and accountability is what will make this. We're not only talking about good spending programs, but a whole new system to track what the best use of public money is, so we can say, 'hey, if this one isn’t creating enough jobs, let’s move the money over to this one that is.'"

President Obama is listing stimulus spending on the Internet, so taxpayers can track how dollars are used.

State Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas) has already introduced legislation to use economic stimulus money to create a "green jobs" training program. It would train Nevadans to work on pending projects such as energy efficiency upgrades to schools and government buildings. The plan is estimated to create 34,000 jobs in Nevada.

Opponents of the economic recovery plan say it will add billions to the national deficit but won’t necessarily bring jobs. PLAN says it’s important to hold all parties accountable that jobs are being created, and they offer a livable wage.

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