The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - State Democratic leaders say the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act spared Texas from severe financial devastation.

Texas got more than $16 billion from the federal stimulus package signed in February by President Barack Obama. State Leticia Van de Putte (PYOOT), a San Antonio Democrat, says more than 96 percent of the money was used to close a state budgetary shortfall.

With the money, Texas teachers and other employees will each get an $800 bonus mandated by the Texas Legislature. Democrats also cite projections that the package will create 69,000 job in transportation.

Republican Gov. Rick Perry had rejected a small percentage of the money, $550 million to help the state's empty unemployment insurance trust fund. Democrats have repeatedly complained that he played politics at the expense of Texas employers.