In his first act as governor-elect, Andrew Cuomo just issued a press release saying he wouldn’t mind sopping up some federal money from other states.
Cuomo wrote a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood asking to be considered if newly-elected governors in Ohio and and Wisconsin turn down the money, as they’ve pledged to do.
“High speed rail is critical to building the foundation for future economic growth, especially Upstate. If these Governors-Elect follow through on their promises to cancel these projects, a Cuomo Administration would move quickly to put the billions in rejected stimulus funding towards projects that would create thousands of good jobs for New Yorkers,” Cuomo said in the release.
Cuomo’s Green Agenda complained that New York hadn’t received more of the $8 billion dollars the federal government allocated toward high speed rail. “New York received only $151 million of the grants out of the $561 million applied for, ostensibly because these projects were not ‘shovel ready,’” the book says, in an impressively passive aggressive passage.
Here’s the full letter:
November 5, 2010
Hon. Ray LaHood
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Secretary LaHood:
High speed rail could be transformative for New York-with the potential to revitalize Upstate New York’s economy with construction jobs now and permanent jobs created by the new high speed rail links to New York City, Toronto and Montreal in the future. That is why I made high speed rail a priority during my campaign, and that is why it will continue to be a top priority for me as Governor.
To date, New York has received only a small fraction of federal money for high speed rail, but we want to make it a success now, and my Administration will aggressively pursue all funding opportunities to make high speed rail a reality. Recent reports have stated that incoming Administrations in other states, particularly Ohio and Wisconsin, are seeking to cancel their high speed rail projects and the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid associated with those projects. Therefore, I would ask you to consider redirecting the federal funding to New York because the project is a top priority.
High speed rail could be the 21st Century Erie Canal for New York State and help rebuild Upstate New York’s economy. Now is the moment to build. Thank you for the consideration and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate and call.
Andrew M. Cuomo
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