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Oberstar: “We are on track to create and save 3 to 4 million jobs”

Friday, January 23rd, 2009 at 6:29 am

oberstarWashington DC – The economic recovery bill being considered by Congress would create more than 10,000 new jobs in Minnesota and channel more than over $400 million in assistance to local school districts, according to the office of Congressman Jim Oberstar. Congressional leaders have made passage of the legislation a top priority and expect to have it ready for President Obama to sign into law by the middle of February.

Today, experts testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, highlighting how the legislation could begin generating economic activity.

“We are on track to create and save 3 to 4 million jobs,” Congressman Jim Oberstar said.

As committee chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Oberstar helped craft key provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. Oberstar called today’s hearing to demonstrate that the legislation can create jobs 90 days after it is passed.

“The purpose of this hearing today is to nail down the ability of the states to meet these deadlines to create the employment and put people to work,” Oberstar said. “So we are paying them to work instead of paying them not to work with workers compensation.”

A draft of the recovery plan calls for spending $30 billion on roads and bridges nationally and $480 million on Minnesota projects, distributing the funds through the federal aid highway.

“An investment of that magnitude in Minnesota roads and bridges would create over 10,000 jobs,” said Oberstar. “They are jobs that pay a living wage and cannot be outsourced. When the work is done we will be able to move goods and services more efficiently and Minnesota products will be more competitive in the global marketplace.”

An analysis by the House Committee on Education concluded that school districts in Minnesota will receive $437,373,000 from the recovery legislation, including $51,056,300 for schools in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. The funds will be used to help pay for programs that provide education for disadvantaged and disabled children, and other grants will help repair and modernize their school buildings. Over the two years covered by the economic recovery bill, Duluth’s school district would receive $8,337,100, Hibbing would receive $1,439,300. A complete list of funding for Minnesota’s school districts has been published on the Education Committee’s website: edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/MINNESOTA2009Stimulus.pdf

“This legislation gives school districts real relief,” Oberstar said. “These funds will help keep teachers on the job and class sizes smaller, they will help modernize our schools and they will keep local property taxes from going up.”

(From Office of Jim Oberstar)

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