To the Editor:
The good news is the North Carolina Department of Transportation has received a $461 million federal grant to improve rail service between Raleigh and Charlotte, creating 4,800 jobs during the next two years. Many of the jobs will be permanent since a new maintenance facility will be located in Charlotte. The $461 million comes with no strings attached. No matching state funds are required.
The bad news is that Republican state representatives Ric Killian (R-Mecklenburg), Phillip Frye (R-Spruce Pine), and Phil Shepard (R-Onslow) have introduced House Bill 422, “No High-Speed Rail Money from Federal Government.” If this bill passes, the $461 million will go to other states to create jobs for their citizens and upgrade their transportation infrastructures.
The Employment Security Commission reported that the North Carolina unemployment rate in February was 9.7 percent. There are more than 435,000 people on our state’s unemployment roles. The 4,800 jobs are desperately needed.
Please tell your legislators to oppose H422. What possible reason could the Republicans have for refusing this grant? Disliking President Obama is not a good reason to sacrifice North Carolina jobs.