February 10, 2009

Gillibrand Votes to Pass the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act

Votes in Favor of New York State Job Creation & Economic Development

Washington, D.C. - Today, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand voted in favor of H.R. 1, the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act - legislation that makes important investments in critical infrastructure and targeted tax incentives for short and long-term job growth and economic development in New York.  The bipartisan legislation confronts the most serious economic situation in generations.  In just the last month, nearly 600,000 Americans lost their jobs - the largest single increase in decades.  In New York State, the unemployment rate has nearly doubled in the last year, with almost 700,000 New Yorkers looking for employment.

A centerpiece of the legislation is its investment in our nation's infrastructure.  The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act provides nearly $13 billion dollars to New York State to tackle the vast backlog in road, bridge, water and sewer and other major infrastructure projects.  According to the American Society for Civil Engineers, nearly 30% of the state's bridges rated as "structurally deficient."  The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act provides more than $2 billion dollars to New York to invest in Highway and Transit funding.  In addition, the legislation invests more than half a billion dollars in New York Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds that provides support for water and sewer infrastructure development and construction.  These projects not only help to ease the tax burden on the local level, but create direct jobs in construction as well as secondary jobs across the local community.

Alternative energy and conservation technology development is another vital part of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act.  The legislation includes more than $40 billion in investment in the alternative energy sector to end our nation's dependence on foreign oil and grow American jobs in the green sector.  These investments include increased funding for weatherization to make homes and businesses more energy-efficient, development of advanced battery technology and infrastructure for deployment of plug-in electric vehicles, and funds to reduce carbon emissions in energy generation.

"This legislation is vital to the revitalization of our nation's economy, and a critical investment in the future of New York," said Senator Gillibrand, a Member on the Environment and Public Works Committee.  "The investments in infrastructure and alternative energy development will create jobs and build a foundation for long-term economic growth in our state."