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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: US PIRG
Phineas BaxandallSenior Tax and Budget Analystphineas@pirg.org
U.S. PIRG Statement on the Redirection of High-Speed Rail Funds from Wisconsin and Ohio
WASHINGTON - December 9 - Statement of U.S. PIRG Senior Tax and Budget Analyst Phineas Baxandall on the U.S. Department of Transportation's redirection of high-speed rail funds from Wisconsin and Ohio, where new governors have indicated they will not use the finds. The Department announced today that $1.1195 billion in economic recovery (ARRA) funds will go to other states eager to use them.
"The administration is doing exactly as it should. Congress directed these funds to be spent promptly to create jobs by modernizing America's rail system. That can happen now.
"It's unfortunate for the residents of Wisconsin and Ohio that the governors chose to politicize a typically bipartisan issue rather than invest in 21st century transportation. These states badly need the jobs. There's great potential to connect Ohio and Wisconsin's cities with rail, and idle vehicle manufacturing capacity in the Midwest needs this opportunity. Their loss will be another dozen states' gain.
"When you kick a gift horse in the mouth, you end up seeing its backside. The governors shouldn't be surprised to see this money leave the state."