Recovery Resources Update

Overall:  ProPublica has created a new site, Eye on the Stimulus, to track developments in the recovery package around the country.  The organization is also working with the morning news program The Takeaway and WNYC in creating Shovel Watch, a project to combine investigative reporting and public comments to help monitor recovery money from "bills to building."

A broad coalition of groups have signed onto these Principles for State Implementation of ARRA, which emphasize directing funds to benefit those hurt most by the recession and assuring that funds are spent in an open and accountable manner.

Rep. Jim Moran's office has produced a recovery plan implementation memo that emphasizes How the new Recovery Package Benefits Nonprofits (create link), which notes, along with general information, that the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program has $50 million is set aside specifically for a new program to strengthen nonprofits.

Transparency:  A broad coalition in New York, the Stimulus Oversight Working Group, has released Common Principles for Transparency and Accountability that emphasizes removing lobbyist influence over distribution of federal funds, setting up standards in distributing funds to individuals and communities where the impact will be most effective, and a transparent system for tracking all details of companies and organizations receiving stimulus funds.

A good Stateline article highlights the challenges states are facing in meeting the transparency requirements for the recovery plan, especially the need to collect more data on job creation by state and local government contractors.

Health Care:  The Academy Health/ RWJF's State Coverage Initiatives project has released How States Can Build on New Federal Legislation that Subsidizes COBRA Coverage for Laid-off Workers to enact or extend mini-COBRA laws and add additional subsidies for health care for workers facing layoffs.

Clean Energy and Green Jobs: The Apollo Alliance has created a new resource, Recovery Act Information Center: What You Need To Know, with summary of key provisions and resources for funding of green economy initiatives.