Amtrak receives funding
Published 8:37 am Friday, April 28, 2006
State Rep. John Proos and Southwest Michigan House members secured $1 million in the transportation budget for funding Amtrak Rail Service under an agreement released last week with the Senate and administration.
This additional funding will mean that Amtrak will be able to keep open the Pere Marquette and Blue Waters lines in Michigan's Great Southwest.
Legislative Republicans recently came to an agreement with the governor's office to restore or advance transportation projects, including the Amtrak lines in Southwest Michigan.
Proos and Southwest Michigan House legislators sent a letter in January to the chair of the House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, stating that the funding was of vital importance to Southwest Michigan. Legislators who signed the letter on a bipartisan basis included Reps. Neal Nitz, R-Baroda; Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland; Rick Shaffer, R-Three Rivers; Richard Ball, R-Bennington Township; Alexander Lipsey, D-Kalamazoo; John Stahl, R-North Branch; Lorence Wenke, R-Richland; Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek; and Jerry Kooiman, R-Grand Rapids.
Students from Illinois, Indiana and Michigan depend on Amtrak services to attend community colleges and four year universities within the region.