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Statement of Serena Unrein, Public Interest Advocate for the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, on the Obama administration’s FY 2012 transportation budget proposal, which includes a major increase in transportation funding and an $8 billion annual investment in high-speed rail.
“The administration’s budget request proves that President Obama is serious about investing in the future, while bringing much-needed reform to our broken transportation system.”
“Here in Arizona, our state would also benefit from increasing public transportation options. Improving our transportation infrastructure – particularly by bringing passenger rail to Arizona – would help create jobs and spur economic development.
“Federal funding for public transportation, including passenger rail, will allow states like Arizona to build key infrastructure projects, so today’s announcement is good news for Arizona.
“As a new national poll today shows, the Obama administration’s proposal is consistent with the desires of the American people. The Rockefeller poll shows that 80 percent of voters agree that federal funding to modernize and improve transportation will boost local economies and create millions of jobs, and view it as critical to keeping the United States as the world’s top economic superpower.
“Among other findings in the survey, a huge majority (80 percent) believes the country would benefit from an expanded and improved public transportation system. Strong majorities want to see transportation spending tied more closely to a national plan. The administration proposal would likewise more than double annual investment in public transportation and would more closely tie spending to safety and other national goals.
“In an era of increased scrutiny into federal spending, the administration is right to propose targeted investments that will deliver jobs and make us more competitive around the globe.”
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