Kasich doesn’t want to spend $400 million on a passenger rail system Ohio doesn’t need.
Instead, he’d like to use that money to pay for the real transportation needs facing Ohio.
All along, Kasich discussed how, in his experience, Congress had found ways to reallocate awarded funds using the tools of the legislature.
And now, Congress has stepped up – specifically, Senator Voinovich. From a letter released today:
U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) introduced a bill Nov. 29 to allow Ohio to repurpose grant funds received from the Federal Railroad Administration for capital projects in the stimulus bill for other transportation projects, such as roads and bridges. Giving the state of Ohio the ability to allocate funds would benefit the state’s economy and workforce without the excessive burden placed on the state’s budget by the proposed 3C rail project.
In a Nov. 17 letter, Sen. Voinovich asked Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to work with Congress and governors to give state leaders the flexibility to allocate transportation dollars to projects which will best create jobs. A copy of the letter is attached below.
“As a former governor, I recognize that state and local leaders, those closest to the economic circumstances in the area, are better able to determine the most beneficial uses of funding …. As someone who has worked for the past two years to push, prod and plead for this administration to work to pass a robust surface transportation reauthorization, I know providing funding for road construction would provide a much-needed boost to the state’s road construction industry and those industries, like steel and concrete, which supply it,” Sen. Voinovich wrote to Secretary LaHood.