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The Associated Press January 28, 2011, 4:16PM ET

Massachusetts officials detail fed stimulus impact

State officials say Massachusetts has spent $5.5 billion in federal stimulus funds and more than 71,000 people in the state have received paychecks as a result of those funds since the program began nearly two years ago.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, the Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office also said stimulus dollars paid for 7,005 equivalent full-time jobs that were shared by more than 21,000 individuals.

State agencies in Massachusetts have so far received a total of $7.1 billion in stimulus awards, including money not yet spent.

The stimulus program, which began in February 2009, expires later this year. Gov. Deval Patrick said in a statement on Friday that as the program winds down, the state must continue to invest in programs that create jobs.

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