St. Louis Public Radio News
Thu December 9, 2010
Illinois gets high-speed rail money when Ohio, Wisconsin pass
By Alex Keefe, WBEZ / Kelsey Proud, St. Louis Public Radio
Illinois is set to get millions of dollars for high-speed rail projects that were supposed to go to two other states. But that news may not be as good as it sounds.
WBEZ's Alex Keefe explained that Ohio and Wisconsin were allotted nearly $1.2 billion in stimulus money for high-speed rail projects. But the newly-elected Republican governors of those states had promised to use the money elsewhere.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said that his state would use the money for its intended purpose -- if only it would be re-appropriated to Illinois. The plea seems to have worked.
Today the federal government made good on its threat to "use it or lose it" - and redistributed the money to 14 other states.
That'll mean more than $42 million for train projects in Illinois.
Rick Harnish heads the Chicago-based Midwest High Speed Rail Association, an advocacy group. He says today's news doesn't bode well for the prospects of a multi-state high-speed rail network.
"For our state, it's good. But for our economy, it's bad," Harnish said.
WBEZ's Alex Keefe's work was used in the curation of this story.