In Their Own Words: How Upstate New York Benefits from the Recovery Package

Last night, President Obama reiterated the importance of the economic recovery package. He spoke of the clear impact the bill would have on our nation’s economy – providing tax relief, creating new jobs, and providing necessary funding for health care and education initiatives. Across the 20th Congressional District, voters are praising the package and the positive impact it will have on their communities.


However, another day has passed and Republican Jim Tedisco is still refusing to tell voters why he won’t support the bill. Mr. Tedisco has called the situation a “hypothetical,” but the funding going to shovel-ready projects, education, health care, and other initiatives is very real.


“Across the 20th Congressional District, community leaders are talking about the positive impact the recovery package will have,” said June O’Neill, New York State Democratic Committee Chair. “While Jim Tedisco refuses to tell us why he won’t support the bill, aid from the package will put Upstate New Yorkers back to work. During this serious financial crisis, voters need a leader they can trust to stand up for them – not some one who continues to avoid answering questions.”


The facts:


FACT: Upstate New York counties and schools will receive $1.6 billion from the proposed economic stimulus package that’s aimed to boost the economy and keep people employed. [Post-Star, 1/29/09]


FACT: A strong majority — 75 percent — of surveyed New Yorkers support the stimulus package signed into law yesterday by President Obama, though many worry about the size and spending included in the measure. [Albany Times Union, 2/18/09]


Real Relief – Voices from the 20th CD:


“What the stimulus package does, it allows us to do is accelerate that process and cause the construction to occur and complete it and in a time frame that is much shorter than what would have ordinarily been expected,” Bradley Birge, Saratoga Springs Office of Planning and Economic Development  [Capital 9 News, 2/18/09]


“That will give relief to the counties in New York that pay for a good portion of Medicaid program, to get through a difficult time.”  Kathy Jimino, Rensselaer County Executive]. [News 10 Now, 2/18/09]


“Looking at the unemployment rate in Dutchess County, which is 6.2 percent, if we have 10,000 people in our town, then 620 of them have lost their jobs in the past two years,” he said. “It’s important to get people back to work. They have families to feed and mortgages to pay. Everyone is saying we have to get going on this and get on line with every other town and state in the country .” Dover Councilman Christopher Galayda [Harlem Valley News, 2/6/09]


David Wickerham, the Saratoga County administrator, said the money could be as much as $8 million, which will depend on the county’s level of unemployment. Whatever the total, it will help a county that takes pride in having the lowest property taxes in the state, he said…”If it happens, it certainly will make everybody’s life easier in the county in terms of reducing that burden to the taxpayer,” he said. [Post-Star, 1/29/09]


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