The Department of Transportation is acting against the Republican governors who are spending their transition periods stopping work on high-speed rail projects.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that $1.195 billion in high-speed rail funds originally designated for Wisconsin and Ohio will be redirected to other states eager to develop high-speed rail corridors across the United States. Wisconsin has suspended work under its existing high-speed rail agreement and the incoming Governors in Wisconsin and Ohio have both indicated that they will not move forward to use high-speed rail money received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). As a result, $1.195 billion will be redirected to high-speed rail projects already underway in other states.
"High-speed rail will modernize America’s valuable transportation network, while reinvigorating the manufacturing sector and putting people back to work in good-paying jobs," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "I am pleased that so many other states are enthusiastic about the additional support they are receiving to help bring America’s high-speed rail network to life."
Initially, the new governors -- Scott Walker and John Kasich -- talked about keeping the rail money and applying it to roads or other transportation. As in New Jersey, the federal government is using the stiff arm, and this points to some other potential windfalls for the reduced numbers of blue state governors in 2011