That is indeed a lot of money.
Here is the stat that says, well not all, but certainly a lot: NJ has roughly 2.8% of the United States population but is getting 3.2% of the $787 Billion ARRA package. ARRA is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act aka – “the economic stimulus plan.”
It’s about time, you say? Democratic US Senators Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg were quick to take credit. They spoke at the 6th annual Governor’s Transporattion Conference at the Trenton Marriott.
The change comes after years of complaining that NJ gets short changed, or less than it’s fair share when it comes to federal homeland security dollars. Menendez said today that he now sits on the committee that decides those formulas. Besides, said Lautenberg…there is a new sheriff in town. ( he didn’t exactly use those words, but the senior Senator did credit Obama for taking care of NJ a little better than the previous prez.
Total transportation projects in NJ this year equal $3.6 billion…plus another $1.1 billion in stimulus money. Guv says this should create 40,000 jobs. $650 million in stimulus money goes to road projects and half a bil goes to NJ Transit. That money will be used to upgrade stations ( wheelchair access is one example ).
I wonder what those unemployment numbers would look like without government spending?