Monday, March 23, 2009

Adding accountability

As has been reported since February, $150 billion of President Barack Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus package has been designated for infrastructure projects around the country. The end result, of course, would benefit the aggregates industry. But sometimes it's difficult to know whether these funds are really being used in the way they were originally intended. On March 20, Obama announced guidelines aimed at preventing waste and fraud and limiting the influence lobbyists will have in carrying out the program. His guidelines specify that stimulus funds can't be used on projects like aquariums, zoos, golf courses, swimming pools, casinos and other gambling establishments. The law specifies states will lose their funds if they miss a deadline or don't allocate the money fast enough - keeping them on their toes. Obama also said priority will go to projects that will create the most jobs, including those that will help rebuild roads and bridges. Loads of information on the stimulus package can be found at, including links to states' progress and resources. -- Brian Richesson

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