The federal stimulus package, much derided by Republicans in Illinois, is doing wonders for the economy. The Congressional Budget Office released a report
yesterday showing that the law created 3.3 million jobs in the second
quarter of 2010 alone and may have prevented a double-dip recession.
One successful program that owes its existence to the recovery bill is
the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund,
which has provided private employers subsidies to hire (for
$10-per-hour) folks who are eligible. For Decatur's Ashlee Tate, as well as roughly 30,000 other Illinois residents, the Put Illinois To Work program has been a godsend. The Decatur Herald-Review reports:
been three or four months now since I haven't tried looking for a job,"
Tate said. "This really helps out a lot as far as getting experience
and having a reference if I find another job afterward."
Although Democrats on the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee have introduced new legislation that would extend funding for the TANF
program through FY 2011, the threat of a Republican filibuster in the
U.S. Senate means the chances of the bill passing before September 30
are slim. That's a big disappointment for Decatur Township Assessor Tom Greanias,
who has taken on 16 temporary workers using the subsidies. "I wish I
had money to hire them," he said. "I'll be approaching my board based
on the success of some of these people that have really worked out well to ask for an increase in my budget to contract these people."