Texas Accepts $17 Billion From Stimulus

Texas Governor Rick Perry says the state will accept its $17 billion share of the federal stimulus plan.

A state analysis reports the $17 billion will be divided up among education, health and human services, transportation, labor, criminal justice and housing and infrastructure.  Education gets the largest share with more than $6 billion, closely followed by health and human services programs at $5.8 billion.

But these are just estimates.  Rep. John Smithee of Amarillo says, "we're still waiting to see what strings are attached to all this money and decide where to spend it."

Smithee says he hopes the money will go toward job creation as opposed to more spending on government programs.  He says, "I think any use has to be tied to the creation of jobs, whether to provide new infrastructure for the state, which I think is a worthwhile project, it provides jobs and helps the economy."

Smithee says like the governor, he is not happy so much taxpayer money is being used but says the state might as well take the money.  He says after all, it is our money.

The governor was debating for a while on whether to accept the money from the federal government.  Smithee says it would have been foolish to refuse money freely available.