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Missouri going after Florida's rejected high-speed rail funding

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (R) and Missouri Department of Transportation Director Kevin Keith inspect tracks outside of the Kirkwood Amtrak Station in Kirkwood, Mo. on March 29, 2011.

Missouri is one of a handful of states applying for some $2.4 billion in federal funding for high-speed rail projects that Florida rejected last month.

Governor Jay Nixon was in Kirkwood today to announce Missouri's application for nearly $1 billion in new funding.

In recent months, rail projects have  become politicized with many GOP lawmakers calling for states to refuse the funds.

For his part, Nixon, a Democrat, says he sees rail as a good investment for Missouri.

"From my chair I don't look at this as a partisan issue, I mean dollars that weren't available have been made available," Nixon said. "And we have a very very small amount of state resources that we have to be put up, I mean $4.5 million to potentially get a billion dollars."

Missouri's application is earmarked for Amtrak's St. Louis to Kansas City line.

The project would complement a high-speed project already underway between St. Louis and Chicago.

President Barack Obama has championed $53 billion in high-speed projects to spur job growth across the country.

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