California stands to gain most from stimulus

WASHINGTON Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:37pm GMT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - California stands to gain the most of any state in an economic recovery package the U.S. Congress is considering, according to two separate analyses.

In its current form, the plan would give California $4.46 billion for investment in water, roads, public transportation, highways and bridges, according to the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

More than half of the state's infrastructure funding would go to highways and roads.

New York would receive $3.39 billion for public works and Texas could see $3.05 billion. Michigan, which has been hit hard by declines in the automobile industry, would receive $1.25 billion.

Two of the smallest states in the country would receive the least amount of infrastructure backing. About $160.69 million would go to boosting Delaware's capital projects and $162.63 million to Vermont's.

Various congressional committees are currently debating the $825 billion package, which includes $63.5 billion in infrastructure spending.

Taking a broader view of the entire plan, including reimbursements to states for Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor, as well as community block grants, the National Conference of State Legislatures found that California could gain $20.81 billion.

That would represent about 11 percent of the $192 billion in assistance that would go to all states, the group found.

Under the league's calculations, New York would receive $15.40 billion in stimulus funding, Texas $15.43 billion and Michigan $6.36 billion.

Obama reminded legislators in a statement today that the plan's spending and tax components will change as it wends its way through Congress. Both houses of Congress must pass the bill before he signs it.

States and cities have pressed for federal help as their tax revenues fall and spending pressures increase during the year-long recession. Their standard last resort of taking out debt has been crippled by frequent freezes in the municipal bond market.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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