New data on Nevada’s stimulus haul

Compared to other states, Nevada ranks low in funding from the federal stimulus bill for housing and energy, according to a new analysis of the legislation enacted last week.

On a per-person basis, the state ranks 47th out of 51 (states plus D.C.) in funding for housing and 45th in funds for energy. The analysis was supplied by the office of Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., a critic of the $787 billion stimulus bill who voted against it.

As we reported Monday, Nevada came in second to last in total funds from the bill, dead last for education funding and low in other big-ticket categories.

Ensign had proposed an alternative to the stimulus bill that would have cost less and consisted mainly of tax cuts. There was no significant government spending in the bill, though Ensign says he favors spending that he considers worthwhile.

Ensign spokesman Tory Mazzola said the poor ranking for Nevada in housing funds from the stimulus is evidence that his bill would have better benefited the state that leads the nation in the rate of home foreclosures.

"I think these numbers further illustrate why Ensign voted no," Mazzola said. "The stimulus bill is great for spending money, but it seems like it does little for those who need it."

Ensign’s analysis used stimulus data from the Federal Funds Information for States service and population data from the Census, sources that were also used for the R-J article, so his spreadsheet comes to the same conclusions in many areas.

The two analyses differ on Medicaid funds because Ensign’s computes it on the basis of the state’s Medicaid population. Once the funding is adjusted for the small proportion of Nevada’s population that receives medical assistance, a result of the state’s stingy eligibility rules, the state ranks higher.

Nevada is 35th when it comes to unemployment benefits per capita, according to the spreadsheet, which you can download here.

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