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Show me the (stimulus) money

By Joe Yovino

As a Web editor, I spend most of my days staring at Web sites (OK, one in particular in case the boss is reading). There’s some good ones and some very bad.

This morning I came across a new site that fits into the former category: the Wisconsin Office of Recovery and Reinvestment’s Money Tracker page.

The site is the birth child of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which “is designed to build America’s future through tax relief for middle class families, worthwhile new infrastructure projects to create jobs and investments in research and alternative energy projects for a cleaner, healthier environment,” according to the site’s welcome page.

Basically it’s a clean and easy way to track how stimulus money is being spent in Wisconsin. And, don’t forget, that’s your money.

Besides the pretty colors and the fancy graphics, there’s also some useful and interesting information on which state agencies are getting what in terms of cash.

Did you know transportation and infrastructure has received $669,504,196 from the ARRA and trails only education as the largest investment from the stimulus package? Or did you know, according to the cool speedometer-like graph on the site, an estimated 46,000 jobs in Wisconsin have been retained or created due to stimulus money?

The site also features an interactive map showing money that has been awarded, broken down county by county — including details such as who received contracts with the federal money. Data also can be sorted and downloaded to individual users’ computers.

Good Jobs First, a national policy resource center for grassroots groups and public officials, had previously ranked Wisconsin’s stimulus Web site as fourth-best in the country.

Now it has to be the best.

Joe Yovino is the Web editor at The Daily Reporter. He likes pretty colors and the fancy graphics.

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