How Stimulus Plan Would Affect Michigan

Federal Bailout FundsPoliticsState BudgetsElectionsCredit and DebtMark SchauerLocal Government

WASHINGTON, DC - President Obama's $800 billion stimulus package passed the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday night. The vote was strictly along party lines, with every Republican voting against it. The package must still clear the Senate.

It is a lot of money, and a large chunk of it would be spent in Michigan. If it passes as it is now, Michigan is expected to receive 18.6 billion dollars in relief over two years.

A billion dollars of the money would go to fix the state's roads and bridges.

A large chunk would also go to give you tax relief if you make under $200,000 a year. A person would get $500 in tax credits, and married couples would receive $1000 in tax credits. You wouldn't get a check in the mail; the taxes just wouldn not be taken out of your paycheck.

Plus, $2.3 billion would go to Michigan schools. That money would be spent mainly on construction, renovation projects, and programs targeting at-risk and special education students. Grand Rapids Public Schools would receive $39 million under the new plan, Kalamazoo $14.5 million, and Battle Creek $9 million.

Economists say all of the money spent in Michigan would help create and save 153,000 jobs in the state through 2010.

Democratic Congressman Mark Schauer voted in favor of the plan on Wednesday. "It's imperative that we move quickly to start to stimulate our economy, and I expect the president to sign this legislation by the middle of February," Schauer said.

Republican Congressman Pete Hoekstra voted against it. He said he worries it won't work fast enough for the state. He wants more money spent on taxpayers and business owners and not government agencies.

"So that we're building a strong economy rather than just spending and going into debt and loading debt on our kids. I'm concerned about that," Hoekstra said.

Some of the money will also go directly to help bail out both state and local governments. But just how much each city and agency would receive remains to be seen.

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