WBEZ | The Money Trail: Tracking Stimulus Bucks http://www.wbez.org/series/money-trail-tracking-stimulus-bucks Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Update on Illinois' Piece of Stimulus Funds http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/update-illinois-piece-stimulus-funds <p><p>For&nbsp;years, we've been hearing that the state of Illinois is in dire financial straits. Sure we're facing a huge deficit and a budget that still hasn't been worked out by legislators. But we have also seen a flood of federal stimulus money fall into the Prairie State's coffers. So, where has that money gone? <em>Eight Forty-Eight's</em> Business Contributor David Greising recaps how state agencies have allocated the stimulus money.<br> <br> <span style="font-style: italic;">Music Button:&nbsp; Farid, "Pit Stop", from the CD Modular Systems, (ESL) </span></p></p> Mon, 07 Jun 2010 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/update-illinois-piece-stimulus-funds Tracking the Stimulus Money http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/tracking-stimulus-money <p><p>WBEZ's Adriene Hill has been tracking the stimulus bucks—those billions of dollars officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and she&nbsp;gives us&nbsp;an update.<br> <br> <strong>Related: </strong><br> <a href="http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Content.aspx?audioID=36155">State's New Stimulus Websites Get Below Average Marks</a><br> <a href="http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Cityroom_Series.aspx?seriesID=144">The Money Trail: Tracking Stimulus Bucks</a><br> <br> <em>Music Button: Rory Gallagher, "Calling Card," from the CD Crest of a Wave: The Best of Rory Gallagher (Eagle Records)</em></p></p> Mon, 17 Aug 2009 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/tracking-stimulus-money U.S.Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Says States Need to Step up for Stimulus Money http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/ustransportation-secretary-ray-lahood-says-states-need-step-stimulus-money <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//archives/images/cityroom/848_20090714b_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>Yesterday Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a major capital spending bill, our first in more than a decade. These state dollars for infrastructure come on top of money we received earlier this year through the Federal stimulus fund. According to critics, some of these transportation stimulus funds aren't getting to the right place. That's prompted Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the former U.S. Congressman representing Illinois, to personally ask states to re-direct federal funds to areas hit hardest by the recession. Ultimately, LaHood says it's up to the individuals running the states.</p></p> Tue, 14 Jul 2009 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/ustransportation-secretary-ray-lahood-says-states-need-step-stimulus-money Tracking Construction Stimulus Bucks http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/tracking-construction-stimulus-bucks <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//archives/images/cityroom/848_20090616a_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>The Illinois Department of Transportation says it's awarded nearly two-thirds of the stimulus dollars it's received, but minority contractors in Chicago say they haven't seen the money. Which got us wondering who the stimulus money is working for, and how it's working. WBEZ's Adriene Hill explains more about tracking the allocation of stimulus funds.<br> <br> <br> <strong>Related:<br> Stimulus Series:</strong> <a href="http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Cityroom_Series.aspx?seriesID=144">The Money Trail: Tracking Stimulus Bucks</a><br> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/Content.aspx?audioID=34858">Rev. Jesse Jackson Weighs in on Stimulus</a><br> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/Content.aspx?audioID=34860">Feds Plan Stimulus Compliance Workshop</a><br> <a href="http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/04/black_men_recession.html" target="_blank">Report on African-American Men and the Recession</a></p></p> Tue, 16 Jun 2009 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/tracking-construction-stimulus-bucks Schools Will Get Stimulus Funds, State Payments http://www.wbez.org/story/news/education/schools-will-get-stimulus-funds-state-payments <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//archives/images/cityroom/cityroom_20090415_llutton_947630_Scho_large.png" alt="" /><p><p><strong>Illinois is expecting about $3 billion in federal stimulus aid to schools in the state. But a big chunk of that is going to pay off a backlog of bills the state owes school districts.</strong><br> <br> U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says the unprecedented injection of federal dollars into schools will help districts avoid making painful cuts.<br> <br> DUNCAN: This money will save literally hundreds of thousands of teaching jobs.<br> <br> Duncan also wants stimulus funds to promote education reforms. He wants districts to consider everything from performance pay for teachers to a longer school day to language programs like the one at Andrew Jackson Language Academy in Chicago.<br> <br> GIRL: Bonjour, messieurs.<br> <br> In five different languages, students at the school welcomed Duncan and Governor Pat Quinn yesterday. Officials touted this program as an example of what stimulus funds could buy.<br> <br> But in Illinois, a lot of stimulus money will be spent on services already rendered: The state owes $1 billion to school districts.<br> <br> CHAPIN: Some of the bills date back to December of 2008.<br> <br> In West Aurora School District 129, the story is the same as in most districts. Spokesman Mike Chapin says the state owes the district $5.7 million.<br> <br> CHAPIN: It's for programs the state is obligated to pay for, like special education, early childhood, class size reduction, state lunch program, transportation.<br> <br> Stimulus funds will finally pay off those bills, and will cover general state aid payments to districts for the remainder of the school year.<br> &nbsp;<br> There will be new money for districts. One billion dollars will help schools educate low-income and special education students.<br> <br> And the governor wants to boost state education funding by $130 per student next year, paid for with the federal stimulus dollars.<br> <br> <strong>Unfiltered: <a href="http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Content.aspx?audioID=33519">Education Stimulus Press Conference</a></strong></p></p> Wed, 15 Apr 2009 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/education/schools-will-get-stimulus-funds-state-payments Huberman: Stimulus Funds for Computers and After-school http://www.wbez.org/story/news/education/huberman-stimulus-funds-computers-and-after-school <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//archives/images/cityroom/cityroom_20090414_llutton_1644883_Hube_large.png" alt="" /><p><p><strong>About $3 billion dollars in stimulus money will be making its way to Illinois schools soon. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Governor Pat Quinn visited a Chicago school this morning to announce the massive injection of federal funds.</strong><br> <br> The kids in the gymnasium at Andrew Jackson Language Academy had some important questions for Quinn and Duncan, who were joined by Chicago school leaders.<br> <br> WOMAN: This is Marisa Varveris, and she's a seventh grader. VARVERIS: How will the stimulus package be spent in Chicago, and how will we as students notice the difference?<br> <br> Chicago schools chief Ron Huberman responded that CPS will spend its money on computers and afterschool programs.<br> <br> HUBERMAN: This stimulus money gives us an opportunity for the first time in many, many years, in the backdrop of a very tough economic time, to actually expand after-school programming.<br> <br> Huberman said he hoped students could study art and foreign languages after school. Jackson principal Mathew Ditto was happy to hear that new computers might be on the way. Parents raised funds to pay for the 33 iMac computers in the school's lab now.<br> <br> <strong>Unfiltered:</strong> <a href="http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Content.aspx?audioID=33519">Education Stimulus Press Conference</a></p></p> Tue, 14 Apr 2009 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/education/huberman-stimulus-funds-computers-and-after-school State Could Lose Stimulus Funds Because of Poor Planning http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/state-could-lose-stimulus-funds-because-poor-planning <p><p>Over the last few weeks, we've hosted a series of conversations what the Chicago area can expect from the federal stimulus package. Though many are excited by the opportunity the funds present, one watchdog worries that not enough people are paying attention to Illinois' stimulus plans. Laurence Msall, of the non-partisan tax and fiscal policy organization, the&nbsp;<a href="http://civicfed.org/" target="_blank">Civic Federation</a> thinks the relative lack of planning by our state officials means we might just miss out on some potential stimulus funds.</p></p> Thu, 26 Mar 2009 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/state-could-lose-stimulus-funds-because-poor-planning Non-Profits, Contractors Waiting for Stimulus Funds http://www.wbez.org/story/news/politics/non-profits-contractors-waiting-stimulus-funds <p><p>Some of the federal stimulus funds have yet to reach Chicago,&nbsp;but non-profits are trying to prepare contractors for the new work. Robert Wharton heads The Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County.<br> <br> He says his group deals with housing contractors who weatherize homes,&nbsp;and many of them have been frustrated by a lack of work.<br> <br> WHARTON: There are feelings of mistrust and I just want to point that out because many of the people that have contacted us really have been out there struggling for a while.<br> <br> Wharton says he still doesn't know when federal aid will make its way to Cook County. He says he's not advising contractors to sit tight until that money arrives, but to get involved in groups that can help them find work.</p></p> Wed, 25 Mar 2009 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/politics/non-profits-contractors-waiting-stimulus-funds Tracking Stimulus Money For Education http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/tracking-stimulus-money-education <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//archives/images/cityroom/848_20090324d_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>Education funding makes up a significant part of the federal stimulus package signed by President Barack Obama last month. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said that preparing kids for college and making college more affordable is one of the key priorities for stimulus funding. We've been talking to folks to get a sense of how stimulus money will be used and tracked in key areas. Today, we're tackling education with Christopher Koch, the superintendent at the Illinois State Board of Education.</p></p> Tue, 24 Mar 2009 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/tracking-stimulus-money-education Stimulus Funds to Fix Roads and Transit http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/stimulus-funds-fix-roads-and-transit <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//archives/images/cityroom/848_20090318a_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>Today, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will deliver his State of the State Address&nbsp;at noon. This budget address&nbsp;could soon see higher taxes, along with painful cuts. Earlier this week, we heard a bit about funds coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act otherwise known as “the stimulus.” Randy Blankenhorn,&nbsp;executive director of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/default.aspx" target="_blank">Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning</a> (CMAP), explains&nbsp;what&nbsp;stimulus money will mean&nbsp;for transportation in the region.<br> <br> <strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/blog.aspx?blogid=872" target="_blank">CMAP Economic Recovery Update</a></p></p> Wed, 18 Mar 2009 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/stimulus-funds-fix-roads-and-transit