A blog for better streets and public spaces in Portland, Maine.

Monday, February 9, 2009

What's in the stimulus?

The Transport Politic blog has a good side-by-side comparison of the House and Senate versions of the stimulus bill. Maine's Senator Collins deserves credit for maintaining a respectable level of transit funding in her efforts to limit the bill's total costs; and with $250 million available for state railroad projects, the odds look good for work to start on the Downeaster's service expansion to Brunswick this summer.

I'd also like to credit our new Congressional Representative Chellie Pingree, who, as a member of the Rules Committee, worked to get the transit-friendly Nadler amendement into the stimulus bill. Rep. Pingree, an islander who's used to relying on the state ferry service, seems interested in doing more work to support transit in Maine, and I'm glad to have her working for us in Washington.

The two chambers will now negotiate a compromise between these two proposals, and then, hopefully, the growing hordes of the unemployed can get to work again.

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