U.S. PIRG Statement on the Redirection of High-Speed Rail Funds from Wisconsin and Ohio

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Phineas Baxandall
Senior Tax and Budget Analyst
phineas@pirg.org

U.S. PIRG Statement on the Redirection of High-Speed Rail Funds from Wisconsin and Ohio

WASHINGTON - 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."

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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.

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