Stimulus at Work in the High Desert
I want to thank the High Desert Report for this opportunity to highlight the Victor Valley’s economic expansion efforts in an area hard hit by the current economic crisis. Federal funding or guarantees are a piece of the recovery puzzle. But the region will truly prosper when small businesses and local families are able to leverage local resources for future growth.
Our district’s families, businesses, and communities are still struggling because of rising unemployment levels, health care costs, and taxes, combined with declining home values and retirement savings accounts. Many look to Washington, D.C. for solutions to problems confronting California businesses and families. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of
2009 – known as the Stimulus bill - creates 31 new programs, that have never been considered in congressional committees, and permanently expands 71 existing federal programs. Of the total spending, 61% of the Stimulus increases the size of government while only 39% is for economic stimulation.
Businesses and families in the high desert will see the Stimulus at work throughout the region. Where the California State budget crisis threatened educational initiatives, including advanced placement and special education programs at schools like Hesperia Unified School District, the Stimulus will fill these gaps. The State budget crisis also threatened regional infrastructure projects. Stimulus dollars will fund projects like the Victor Valley Transit Authority administration and maintenance facility construction. The Stimulus also focused on improved energy efficiency infrastructure projects. Stimulus dollars will ensure that energy conservation projects like that at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms move forward. For these projects and others in the region to succeed, we must demand rigorous transparency and accountability standards. Businesses and individuals can track the Stimulus spending in our region at www.recovery.ca.gov.
I remain hopeful that portions of this spending will stimulate our district’s economy and I will work hard to make sure the High Desert shares in whatever relief is available. But I am convinced the capable hands of our region’s small businesses and families will produce the long-term results that create jobs and promote business innovation. I look forward to discussions about how I can help the High Desert find these solutions.