Wednesday, August 11, 2010

PA Notes on Jobs Bill

Two press releases on the recently passed jobs bill.

US Dept of Education:


President Signs Bill Into Law

Today, by vote of 247-161, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to provide $10 billion to support an estimated 160,000 education jobs nationwide and another $16 billion to help states fund Medicaid budgets. The bill allocates $387.8 million to support 5,900 education jobs in Pennsylvania. The U.S. Senate passed the bill last Thursday by a vote of 61-39. Tonight, the President signed the bill into law.

“With the support of the jobs bill, these educators will be helping our children learn instead of looking for work,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “This is the right thing to do for our children, for our teachers, and for our economy.”

Over the last two years, the Department has been able to support 300,000 education jobs through stimulus funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. At this time, 7 states have drawn down 100% of previously allocated jobs funding, while 18 states total have drawn down 80% or more. A July report from the independent Center on Education Policy found that 75% of school districts that received stimulus funds expect to cut teaching positions in the upcoming school year.

The $10 billion fund will support education jobs in the 2010-11 school year and be distributed to states by a formula based on population figures. States can distribute their funding to school districts based on their own primary funding formula or districts’ relative share of federal Title I funds.

In order to ensure that states receive funding as quickly as possible, the Department will streamline the application process so that states can submit applications within days. The Department will award funding to states within two weeks of their submission of an approvable application.

Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-08):
On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8th District) voted to keep 150,000 cops and firefighters on the job and 160,000 teachers in the classroom. After passing the Senate last week, the measure is now headed to the President’s desk for his signature. These critical jobs were saved, and the money to pay for it came from closing tax loopholes that encourage multinational corporations to outsource American jobs.

“Keeping cops on the beat by closing down Bermuda tax shelters for big corporations makes sense to me,” Murphy said.

Murphy questioned the willingness of Bush-style Republicans in Congress to saddle future generations with $700 billion in debt for extending Bush’s tax cuts for the super-rich, while refusing to support a bill that is fully paid for and helps keep over 300,000 cops on the beat and teachers in the classroom. Murphy reiterated his commitment to fight for these hardworking, middle-class Americans and said he strongly disagreed with Republicans’ characterization of cops and firefighters as “special interests.”

“A ‘no’ vote on this measure was a vote to lay off local police officers and to allow corporate tax cheats to outsource American jobs,” Murphy added.

“It’s thanks to Patrick Murphy and this measure that Pennsylvania cops can stay on the job, working to keep families safe,” said John McNesby, President of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5.

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