By J. Mijin Cha
Director of Campaign Research, Urban Agenda
The $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has been called an historic down-payment on a clean energy economy and an important engine for the creation of green collar jobs. But what will recovery funds pay for in New York City and what kinds of green jobs will be created?
The Recovery Act creates several different channels for stimulating green economic development projects. The spending portion of the Act commits dollars directly to a variety of Federal and State programs, allocates additional funds directly to municipalities and local governments based on existing formulas, and sets aside money to be disbursed by request and awarded via competitive grants. The majority of funds will come down through existing channels.
Because of the variety of channels, and because many program guidance notices and requests for proposals are still being released, the amount of money that New York City will ultimately receive from the stimulus is an open question. However, the Mayor’s Office of Operations has estimated that New York City will receive $4-4.5 billion to cover existing expenses (Medicaid, unemployment insurance etc.) and $500 million in direct capital funding over the next two years.