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Follow the dollars on the web

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By The Staff

Want to find out how the stimulus dollars might affect you? If you are computer-savvy, you can find answers with the click of your mouse.

Clicking on to the Web site, FlaRecovery.com, will enable you to see how state government is using the federal funds coming Florida’s way from the economic stimulus packages.

Those dollars represent the hefty sum of $13.4 billion over the next three years. Some of the first of that money will be used in projects designed to keep Florida’s workforce working. 

Through the recently launched Web site, taxpayers can see where the money is going. The Web site will have additional news, as information trickles down from Washington.

By checking the Web site, residents will be able to see who is really helped by the stimulus money. The money should help our schools, those wanting jobs, and infrastructure in our cities and towns. Will it?

Over the next three years, $4 billion of the money will go to Floridians in need of Medicaid, food stamps and cash assistance. Another $879 million is earmarked for families already relying on food stamps.

Job creation will come from the $1.4 billion set aside for highway and transportation projects, or the $126 million earmarked to promote energy efficiency. Still another $165 million is budgeted for workforce employment and training programs.

Perhaps you know someone personally who will be able to keep their job because of the stimulus package. It’s predicted that the federal money will save or keep 206,000 jobs in Florida.

In addition, Florida should see $1.4 million for increased services in the Senior Community Services Employment Program.

n $393,700 for competitive grants to support vulnerable or eliminated salaried positions in local arts and cultural organizations as a result of the current economic climate.

n $22.1 million to support Florida’s one-stop career centers and re-employment services,

The creation of the Web site Floridarecovery.com is an important step in ensuring that all government business is done in an open and transparent way.

Although the right to have the information has always been available, the Web site will make it much easier to exercise that right. Now we as Floridians must have the desire to keep a watchful eye on where those stimulus dollars are going.

Our county and our cities should follow the lead of the state and have similar Web sites developed so we can also follow the money at the local level.