Q&A: What Advice on Managing the Federal Stimulus Spending Does Your State Most Want From the Obama Administration?

By: - May 1, 2009 12:00 am

As federal stimulus dollars begin flowing to states, Stateline.org asked four stimulus “czars” for their thoughts about overseeing the historic stimulus package that will send $275 billion into states.

What advice on managing the federal stimulus spending does
your state most want from the Obama administration?

Florida’s Don Winstead, special advisor to the governor

“The success of this endeavor is largely going to depend on how well we do the reporting piece. And the more [the Obama administration] can design the system that we can participate in as full partners and all use the same process so that we don’t have states reporting one thing and the federal government reporting another, the more we can integrate that, the better. 

The other thing that is critically important is that we are not only interested in what is going on with the money that flows through the state budget to local government, but also federal expenditures. We’ve got 20 military bases in Florida that are doing military construction. They will be hiring companies based in Florida or being supplied by companies based in Florida. I have as much interest in jobs created by that money as I have of things being spent through the state Department of Transportation. I want a reporting system that lets me go in and grab the information that is relevant to my state.”

-Florida’s Don Winstead, special advisor to the governor

“Getting a sense of what kind of reporting the feds are going to require so we can make sure that we’re not dancing just to our own tune. …We are going to figure out what makes sense for us, what outcomes we want, how to measure them, but to the extent they match up with what the feds are asking us, that will be very handy. This stimulus package is a massive undertaking. The last thing you need is duplicative or unnecessary or burdensome requirements. We’d much rather spend our time getting it right than chasing our tail reporting to everyone.”

Pennsylvania’s Ron Naples, chief accountability officer

Vermont’s Tom Evslin, chief recovery officer

“We’d like to see the final rules for applying for the broadband grants … The substantive of those rules will be critical to us and we can’t make our applications until the rules exist. It’s certainly not the only one, but it’s the area where we have the highest concern and also the highest area of uncertainty.”

Vermont’s Tom Evslin, chief recovery officer

Washington’s  Jill Satran, executive policy advisor

 “This really is an unprecedented opportunity for the states, … so the reporting component is important as much as anything to be able to prove at the national level and to the citizens that this is being done and done well and they are getting a bang for the buck. So the reporting component is really critical.”

Washington’s  Jill Satran, executive policy advisor

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Stateline staff
Stateline staff

Stateline’s team of veteran journalists combines original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country.