The Albert Lea Tribune reports in Tax credits will impact workers and businesses:
Money for workers in the $787 billion federal economic stimulus package isn’t set up the same way it was in last year’s $700 billion measure.
Many people used their stimulus checks last year for big-ticket items or for battling debts, rather than everyday spending.
This time, the dollars are coming in the form of a tax break. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act calls for fewer tax dollars being taken out of paychecks of 95 percent of Americans.
“The total cumulative effect of the measure makes it the largest tax cut for the middle class ever,” said 1st District Congressman Tim Walz.
The Making Work Pay credit starts April 1. The math works out to be on average of $13 a week more in your wallet if you have FICA taxes taken out of your paycheck. It lasts two years, so in January, the average amount will be $9.
Albert Lea city staff will find out this week whether the economic stimulus funds they applied for through the Federal Aviation Administration have been approved.
If obtained, the money would be used for the runway project at the Albert Lea Airport.
City Engineer Steven Jahnke said the city already has $2.1 million of federal funds for the project and has applied for $5.15 million more through economic stimulus funds.
In the Winona Daily News, we read the article Walz, Kind, other lawmakers call for protecting Hmong in Thailand. The LaCrosse-Winona area is home to many Hmong people. The gist:
U.S. Reps. Tim Walz, Ron Kind and 17 other members of Congress have
written to the State Department on behalf of 5,700 Hmong refugees in
Thailand who fear they will be forced to return to Laos.
Many of the refugees have been in Thailand since the 1970s, after unsuccessfully fighting against the communist movement that became the government of Laos.
“Many Hmong people fought alongside us in Vietnam and
sacrificed a lot for our country,” Kind, D-La Crosse, Wis., said in a
statement. “Reports coming from a number of my constituents who have
friends and family in Laos indicate there is still discrimination and
persecution towards Laos’ Hmong population.”
Kind discussed the issue Wednesday with Damrong Kraikruan, Thailand’s acting ambassador to the U.S.
Walz, D-Mankato, and the other 18 members of Congress want the United Nations High Commission on Refugees to be allowed to screen the detainees to determine their refugee status.
The first economic stimulus funds allocated from the federal American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act will put $124,617 into the hands of the
Jackson Housing and Redevelopment Authority's board of directors,
according to an announcement Friday by U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, DFL-Minn.
"We're very excited about the AARA," said DeeAnna Bakken, executive director of the Jackson HRA. "... We were hoping so and talking to our legislators about this because they keep cutting our capital fund. We're very relieved to see it in there and that it didn't get cut out."
Bakken said the local HRA board will meet next Friday, March 6, to approve a plan for how that money will be spent.
Stricter regulations for the one-time allocation require projects to be completed within a year, she said, so spending is likely to go toward projects already on the agency's five-year plan.
The Jackson HRA will still get its annual appropriation of approximately $85,000 in October, as well.
"We appreciate our legislators at the federal level who have been going to bat for us and encouraging others to approve the inclusion," Bakken said.
HRAs across southern Minnesota were the recipients of $4.5 million to modernize and develop public housing.
“I am thrilled that just two weeks after I voted for the economic recovery package we are beginning to see funds flow directly to local communities,” Walz said. “This funding will create and save jobs by investing in improvements and expansions to public housing across Minnesota.”
Back to the geekfest.