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Good morning. This is Governor John Baldacci.

This week Maine completed its first required reports to the federal government for the Recovery Act.

The results are impressive.

The Recovery Act is putting thousands of Mainers to work.

It’s improving vital State infrastructure.

And it’s helping Maine families get through the toughest economic period since the Great Depression.

More than 3,400 people have been directly employed in Maine on transportation and clean water projects alone.

Hundreds of other jobs have been created or saved by Recovery Act funding for health care, education, housing and in other project areas.

In just the first six months, the Recovery Act has created thousands of jobs, saved many more and paid direct benefits to Maine families that have helped them through the most challenging economy of our time.

So people are working today because of the Recovery Act.

And hundreds of thousands more have received tax breaks, and received extended unemployment insurance and had their health insurance protected.

In addition to Recovery Act dollars that flowed through State agencies, more than 5,000 Mainers applied for the first-time homebuyer credit, which was expanded by the law.

Maine residents have also received $73.5 million in additional Unemployment Insurance compensation.

And about 500,000 Maine families benefited from the “Making Work Pay” tax credits.

The Recovery Act has made a real difference to Maine families.

And Maine has led the way in making the Recovery Act successful.

Our State was the first in the country to obligate 100 percent of the funding for transportation projects, putting people to work quickly and getting important road and bridge projects done this summer.

The results can be seen around the State.

Of 71 projects, 64 have been started and 27 have already been completed, including the largest – the reconstruction of the north bound lanes of Interstate 295.

The $31 million project was done efficiently, and Mainers are already reaping the benefits.

I’m also very proud of the work the Recovery Act has made possible at the Department of Labor.

About 700 people went to work as part of the summer youth program, including about 60 young people who learned valuable skills helping others in their community weatherize their homes.

Housing projects in Augusta, Houlton and Bangor have created or will create another 295 jobs.

And education funding has created or saved another 120 jobs.

With more than a year and half of the Recovery Act remaining, we are already seeing results that will last a generation.

Maine communities will benefit from 53 projects to enhance drinking water quality, and another 35 projects will help ensure our State’s water remain healthy and clean.

From the beginning, both President Obama and I have focused on accountability and transparency.

Maine has been at the forefront of making Recovery Act information public and working cooperatively with the Legislature to ensure appropriate oversight.

We are working hard to make sure taxpayers can see where their money is going and to track how it is being spent.

I am proud of the work we have done at www-dot-maine-dot-gov-forward slash-recovery.

The State Web site is a model for information sharing, and we are continually working to make it more user-friendly and informational.

States were required to make their first reports on Recovery Act spending to the federal government on Oct. 10.

States had until midnight on Oct. 21 to review and revise the information.

Maine’s preliminary reports became available Thursday on our Web site.

And they will be available from the federal government on Oct. 30.

The Web site includes an overview of major categories where work was done and more than 130 individual reports on how Recovery Act dollars have been used.

I encourage you to visit the Web site and look at the information that is available.

So while our economy is just beginning to recovery from a global economic recession, we know without a doubt that the Recovery Act has made a difference.

I especially want to thank our Congressional delegation for their support of the Recovery Act. Both Sen. Snowe and Sen. Collins were vital to its passage in the Senate, and the leadership of Rep. Michaud and Rep. Pingree were instrumental in the House.

In just six months, much has been done that will benefit Maine.

But the work will continue, and the benefits of the Recovery Act will extend well into the future.

We will see more projects completed and more jobs created.

And we will see the lasting impact of this significant public investment in Maine and our people.

Thank you and have a great weekend.

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