Tracking Delaware’s stimulus spending

    Lt. Governor Matt Denn says the state’s stimulus funding from the federal government has helped create or save at least 1,000 jobs.

    Delaware’s stimulus “czar” Lt. Governor Matt Denn delivered his latest assessment of how the state is spending federal stimulus money to Governor Jack Markell.

    So far, the state has received $510 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  That only includes money given directly to the state, not money given to local municipalities or other entities including the University of Delaware.  Denn says so far the state has spent or committed to spend about half of the $510 million.

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    Denn says that spending has resulted in the creation or retention of at least 1,000 jobs.  The White House job creation and retention estimate for Delaware is higher, at around 3,000 jobs.  The difference stems from the way the federal government estimates the number of jobs created or retained.  They use an aggregate estimate of all the jobs they expect to be created or retained across the country.  Denn says they then “divide that estimate up on a per-capita basis to the states.”

    The report found that a “significant number of additional jobs” may have also been created or retained due to the tax breaks and income subsidies in the stimulus bill.  That type of job creation is much harder to track, so there’s no estimate for the number of jobs created or retained through those breaks or subsidies.

    Denn’s report also outlined some areas for improvement.  He says the state’s stimulus website (recovery.delaware.gov) could use some improvement.  He says it “doesn’t allow people to take full advantage of the transparency policies that we have.  There’s a lot of information that we want to make available to people, but our website is not yet in a place where it can give people easy, quick access to the information.”  Another area that Denn says needs improvement is the state’s ability to track the participation of women and minority owned businesses in state contracts.

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