Representatives from nine states met at the Iowa statehouse Wednesday for a "Midwest State Recovery Roundtable." The topic of discussion: how to spend the states’ share of federal stimulus funds.
Joel Rogers is with the Center for State Innovation, one of the sponsors of the event, and he acknowledged there are lots of rules about how the money may be spent. "We do want you to innovate as well as not go to jail," Rogers told participants.
Only a tenth of the federal stimulus money has been distributed. Much of the rest will be made available in the form of grants and states can apply for that money. Chris Patton of the Wisconsin governor’s office expects the competition to be fierce.
"The governor, you know, has directed me to sort of secure every single dollar we possibly can," Patton says.
A deadline looms for the states, too. States are to file a report by October showing how the federal stimulus money that’s been released thus far has been spent. Mark Cavanaugh is with the governor’s office in Colorado.
"I hope nobody’s planning anything in October," Cavanaugh said. Some of his colleagues laughed. "It’s going to be a very interesting time."
A few federal officials were on hand as well to give advice on a way range of subjects, including information about the grants available to expand broadband service and promote renewable energy.