Lt. Governor-elect Kleefisch talks high-speed rail - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Lt. Governor-elect Kleefisch talks high-speed rail

EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - A big development in the high-speed rail debate Tuesday.

Three republican congressmen from Wisconsin introduced a bill that would give states the option to return federal funding for high-speed rail projects.

To take it a step further, states could even redirect the money to the treasury to reduce the national debt. $810 million has been set aside for Wisconsin to use on high-speed rail. Governor-elect Scott Walker wants that money to be spent on roads and bridges instead.

Tuesday, the next lieutenant governor was in Eau Claire to talk about Walker's pro-jobs agenda. WQOW News 18 asked her whether the decision to stop high-speed rail is pro-jobs. She said it is because the investment would end up costing the state.

"We don't have the money. Even if this was the best idea on the face of the planet, we don't have the money to spend $7.5 to $10 million a year in taxpayer subsidies in perpetuity on this high-speed train. That commute from Milwaukee to Madison will cost someone $330 a week. You tell me who, in this recession, can afford an extra $330 a week when there are already free-market solutions to the Milwaukee to Madison commute. They're called an automobile and the Badger Bus," says Kleefisch. 

California's two U.S. senators are telling the White House, if Wisconsin's doesn't want the money, it should be redirected to their state for high-speed rail. The federal government has already set aside $3 billion for a project in that state.

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