Many economists agree that the second stimulus bill, the 787 billion dollar American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), was too small and a third may be required. However, the money given to states to close budget deficits has been invaluable in preventing deeply damaging cuts to important public investments across the country.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found in a recent report that federal money has provided states with between 30% and 40% of the money to close budget gaps both at the end of FY09, and during fiscal years 2010 and 2011. The money has come at a crucial time to states that face falling revenues as a result of the recession. It has offset the need for much deeper cuts to services that can slow economic recovery even further. While more stimulus may be needed in the future, the ARRA has been invaluable to states, including North Carolina.