Taking Stock of the Stimulus
The technology funding in last year’s Recovery Act is just beginning to reach its targets.
Most of the direct spending in the $787 billion stimulus bill passed in February 2009 was targeted at infrastructure projects that could begin immediately and provide a quick injection of jobs into a reeling economy. But the legislation also provided more than $50 billion in grants to deploy energy and information technologies, and that money will take longer to spend. While the ultimate economic value of the investment is yet to be determined (see “Cash for Infrastructure”), the map above shows that the money is at last beginning to flow. The bar shows how much money was authorized, how much of it has been awarded to specific projects, and how much has been paid out. While just $381 million of the $7.2 billion authorized to bring broadband to rural areas had been spent as of June 30, for example, nearly $2.5 billion has been awarded, and the rest should be spoken for by September. The Department of Energy, which controls $32.7 billion for clean energy, has also picked up the pace, awarding hundreds of grants to projects around the country.