Westchester, Hudson Valley waiting for stimulus funds

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With the U.S. Senate passing President Barack Obama?s $787 billion stimulus package Friday, residents of Westchester and Hudson Valley are wondering how it will affect their lives.

In his weekly Internet address Saturday, President Obama described the economic stimulus package as a "milestone on the road to recovery" that will deliver billions in aid to victims of the recession.

?It'll save or create 3.5 million jobs over the next two years and lay a new foundation for prosperity,? Obama said.

Under the stimulus bill, the Hudson Valley would receive billions of dollars for more than 200 initiatives, including $230 million for Tappan Zee bridge repairs.

?If it really goes there and not into people's pockets, that would be good because we need a new bridge,? said Nancy Petrillo, of Bronxville.

Other projects include affordable housing, energy infrastructure, "green" jobs and mass transit upgrades.

Republican senators, however, criticized the bill as wasteful. They believe it is not likely to boost the sagging economy. The bill passed Congress on Friday with almost no Republican support.

?Democrats, it seems, settled on a random dollar amount in the neighborhood of $1 trillion and then set out to fill the bucket,? said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). ?Republicans, on the other hand, thought that we should figure out what was at the root of the problem and then see how much it would cost to fix.?

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