HUD secretary talks about federal initiatives in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- President Barrack Obama delivers his state of the union address Tuesday night, and Fox 2 will carry it live at 8 p.m.

During the speech, the president's expected to say that he's unilaterally raising the minimum wage on all new federal contract jobs to over $10 an hour, despite opposition from Republicans.

The president's cabinet members have been making the media rounds before the speech.

The HUD secretary says St. Louis was chosen to be part of the federal government's Strong Cities Strong Communities program, largely because of developer Paul McKee's controversial north side regeneration project.

The Strong Cities Strong Communities program embeds federal staffers in a mayor's office to co-ordinate economic development efforts and federal housing and community assistance programs. St. Louis is one of only 14 cities to be part of it since it began three years ago. The HUD secretary says St. Louis would not have been chosen to be part of the initiative without the Mckee north side development plan. Secretary Shaun Donovan says the feds will now be an integral part of the north side redevelopment plan, which up until now has been funded almost entirely with private money and tax breaks from the city and state of Missouri.

Secretary Donovan says the sort of development dovetails with the president's economic theme Tuesday night of restoring the middle class. The republican response, questioning those plans, will follow the president. In fact, there are several competing GOP responses delivered by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Washington State Congresswoman Cathy Rogers, and Tea Party Utah Senator Mike Lee.

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