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February 16th, 2009

Culver: Iowa could get $1.9 billion from stimulus

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Written by: The Iowa Republican

DES MOINES, Iowa – The state could get as much as $1.9 billion over three years from the federal economic stimulus package, Gov. Chet Culver said Monday.

Despite that influx of new money, the state must still move quickly to slash state spending to offset a budget shortfall caused by a deepening recession, Culver said.

“We still have the tough job of managing the state budget,” he said. “This will not be an excuse to ignore the need to reduce state spending.”

Culver said he’s formed a working group drawn from a dozen state agencies to coordinate the state’s effort and to determine details of the massive stimulus package.

Many of the programs included in the stimulus package require states to compete for the money, so a final price tag can’t be set, said Culver.

About $350 million the state could get is earmarked for roads and bridges, while up to $387 million would go for education programs and more than $550 million would go for health programs such as Medicaid, Culver said.

Culver said he’s heading to Washington this weekend for a meeting of the National Governor’s Association and a key topic of conversation will be how the states are handling the federal stimulus money.

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