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Thu January 28, 2010
Michigan gets $40 M for train stations, $0 for high-speed rail
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI –
The Obama administration will spend $240 million to upgrade tracks and make other improvements to help build a high-speed rail line connecting metro Detroit to Chicago. But very little of that money will be spent in Michigan.
Track improvements in Indiana and Illinois are expected to cut the travel time between Detroit and Chicago. But Michigan's share -- $40 million dollars - will only go toward improving and constructing buildings, and will generate relatively few jobs.
Michigan Congresswoman Candace Miller says the state with the nation's highest unemployment rate should have gotten more when some states got hundreds of millions of dollars.
"This is economic stimulus? You gotta be kidding me," she says. "I'm not asking for all of it. I'm just saying, couldn't we at least have parity with some of these states like California and Florida. Certainly, we deserve that."
President Obama's home state of Illinois was also a big winner.
Governor Granholm says Michigan will benefit from faster speeds and reduced congestion on the Detroit-to-Chicago line, and she will be seeking more money for Michigan in the future.