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Behind open doors, states track stimulus money

What do an FBI fraud team, a showdown between a governor and the legislature, and a sophisticated online system called geographic information systems have in common? All are part of states' efforts to ensure that billions in federal stimulus money are spent wisely within their borders.

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State examining stimulus impact with an eye on jobs (access required)

State agencies are submitting their reports to the Governor's Office of Economic Recovery for the first comprehensive look at how Arizona has been impacted by the federal stimulus act. The Office of Economic Recovery, which oversees the state's use of money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will collect the data through Oct. 6 and plans to submit a report to federal officials two days later.

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Report: State deficits loom despite stimulus

The federal government paid out all but $1 billion of the anticipated $49 billion in stimulus money for states and localities for fiscal 2009, a Congressional watchdog reported Sept. 23. But while stimulus dollars helped states patch holes in their budgets, "states will continue to be fiscally strained," the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in its latest bimonthly report of how 16 selected states are using and tracking their recovery money.

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Brewer approves $50 million in stimulus money for Corrections (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer on Sept. 18 approved the use of $50 million in federal stimulus money to help pay the salaries of Department of Corrections officers. The $50 million is the first portion awarded by Brewer from a pool of stimulus money called the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Government Services Fund. The $185 million pool can be used by the governor for essentially any government services she wants.

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Kyl overlooks AZ benefits of stimulus

Arizona's plan to widen the congested streets of U.S. 60 - our own Grand Avenue - became the 6,000th highway project in the nation this week to be funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or federal stimulus. This project puts nearly $45 million to work in Maricopa County, bringing desperately needed jobs to our state. But Sen. Jon Kyl said he doesn't approve of this economic boost to Arizona.

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