Metros Show Signs of Order Over Stimulus Money

As stimulus money trickles down to states, many worry the best laid plans for spending it will devolve into a frantic money grab among municipalities. But, according to this piece from Mark Muro, there are signs of order at the metropolitan level.

"Overwhelmingly, the smart set predicts the bill's haphazard collection of separate funding items–for roads and transit, schools, safety net programs, and energy efficiency–will be frittered away in an uncoordinated spending spree. The prevailing 'wisdom' is that state and local implementation of the $787 billion package will degenerate into a scrimmage of competing agendas among governors and legislatures, state capitals and city halls, and even between neighboring municipalities."

"But: Isn't there at least a chance the massive, disconnected funding flows of the stimulus will trigger coordinated responses in U.S. metropolitan areas?"

"For all of the business-as-usual on display in Washington, there have been significant signs in recent weeks that metropolitan areas themselves (and to an extent states) are ready and able to impose some order on the mess of federal policy and new dollar flows. I've been impressed at the energy and focus with which state and local leaders are preparing to try to aggregate and align the recovery package's myriad separate funding streams–for highways and mass transit, school repairs, housing programs, revitalization of distressed areas, for energy retrofits, often with a strong metropolitan focus."

Full Story: Stimulus Good News: Ready States, Regions

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