JEFFERSON CITY - While the St. Louis Cardinals may have missed out on the World Series this year, they did receive $100,000 in federal recovery money.
Missouri's Health Department gave the Cardinals the money for anti-smoking advertisements featuring pitcher Adam Wainwright and Gov. Jay Nixon. The Cardinals used the money to buy in-game ad time from Fox Sports Midwest and the Cardinals radio network, Cardinals spokesman Ron Watermon said. The commercials have resulted in a "big spike in people calling" the state's stop-smoking line, he said.
The money given to the Cardinals is a small part of the almost $1.1 billion of Federal Recovery and Reinvestment money appropriated by the General Assembly this fiscal year.
According to state Budget Director Linda Luebbering, the state already received about $2 billion in total budget stabilization funds from the federal government, with the rest of the money expected to be spent in next year's budget.
In addition, Luebbering said the state expects another $2 billion to put toward creating jobs and stimulating the economy. The exact number is not known, as some of the money will come in the form of competitive grants that must be applied for, she said.
As of Dec. 17, the state Labor Department has spent more than $550 million. That money, paid out for unemployment benefits, is separate from either the stabilization or recovery money, according to Luebbering.
On Nov. 6, the federal government extended the amount of time eligible people can receive unemployment as long as the state has an unemployment rate of at least 8.5 percent, and a small number of claimants can receive payments for up to 99 weeks, Labor Department spokeswoman Amy Susan said. The federal government currently is paying all unemployment claims in Missouri, as the state's trust fund is more than $360 million in debt, she said. The state normally has to pay the first 20 weeks of a person's unemployment benefits, which is usually funded by taxes on employers. Missouri will be eventually required to reimburse the federal government for these payments.
The Transportation Department has spent more than $160 million in stimulus money on new transportation projects. Chester Bross Construction, of Hannibal, has received almost $33 million of this money for road paving and construction projects, according to documents provided by Transportation Department spokeswoman Sally Oxenhandler.
Members of the Complete Count Committee, a project designed inform and motivate Missourians to participate in the 2010 Census, received a small amount money from the Office of Administration for meeting and travel purposes.
Rep. Dennis Wood, R-Kimberling City- who received $176 - and Brenda Shields, the wife of Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields - who received $410 - are both members of the committee. The committee is important, Wood said, to ensure all Missourians are accurately counted in the 2010 Census. Since seats in the U.S. Congress are appropriated based on state population, Wood said there is concern that Missouri may lose a representative if the state's population is under-counted.
Some receiving recovery money are unaware of the origin of the funds.
William Alberty, associate circuit judge for Knox County, said he had no idea the more than $2,000 he received for travel related expenses came from federal recovery funds. Some judges are reimbursed for travel and lodging expenses when they hear trials in other counties, State Courts Administrator Greg Linhares said.
The courts have no specific policy on why some judges were paid out of stimulus funds and other paid out of the judiciary's regular budget, Linhares said, adding that determinations on what fund would be used to pay for expenses was based on how much was available in each.