Ohio, Wisconsin Spurn $1.2B to Build Train Lines

Stimulus funds will go to other states
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2010 8:07 AM CST
Ohio, Wisconsin Spurn $1.2B to Build Train Lines
In this Sept. 24, 2010 file photo, Wisconsin Gov.-elect Scott Walker is seen in Milwaukee.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The US is redistributing $1.2 billion in federal stimulus money that had been headed to Ohio and Wisconsin, after both states' Republican governors-elect called for an end to proposed train projects, arguing they were unnecessary and would cost millions to operate. “Wisconsin taxpayers were victorious today in defeating this project,” said incoming Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who had argued the train line would be unpopular and would cost the state about $7.5 million a year.

The governors asked for permission to spend the federal dollars on other state projects, but the stimulus money was assigned to specifically to train projects. Now, 13 other states will get the money originally intended for a train line between Madison and Milwaukee, and one connecting Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, the New York Times reports; California and Florida will be the biggest benefactors of the change. “He finds it tragic that instead of saving taxpayer money, they would simply waste it elsewhere," said a spokesman for John Kasich, the governor-elect of Ohio. (Read more Wisconsin stories.)

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