MADISON- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein joined the race to receive Wisconsin’s already-allocated federal funds for high-speed rail, and the thousands of jobs it will create, which Scott Walker has stated he will reject.
In a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood, Schwarzenegger expressed his “astonishment” over rejection of federal contributions to high-speed rail, and requested that money be redirected to California where they can “use it to generate hundreds of thousands of jobs and provide a clean, fast and low-cost way to travel.”
Sens. Boxer and Feinstein also wrote Sec. LaHood to ask that he award to California any rejected federal funds for high speed rail.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota AFL-CIO joined Wisconsin activist groups in urging Scott Walker to keep the already-allocated rail funds, noting that the eventual Twin Cities to Chicago rail connection would put tens of thousands of people back to work, and make the upper Midwest an even more lucrative place to do business. In a letter to Walker, Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson and Secretary-Treasurer Steve Hunter stated, “If Wisconsin says no to this section of the line, it is likely Minnesota will not see any rail dollars in the future.”
“While states like California are ready, willing, and able to develop a high-speed rail system that is both economically and environmentally valuable, Scott Walker is preparing to kill thousands of good paying jobs not only in Wisconsin, but in Minnesota as well,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Friday. “Walker’s petulant refusal of already-allocated high-speed rail funds has the potential to hurt the entire Midwest.”