Vermont delegation seeks to stimulate economy with transportation waiver

first_imgVermont delegation seeks to stimulate economy with transportation waiverWASHINGTON, DC, November 24 – In order to stimulate the economy and meet pressing infrastructure needs, the Vermont congressional delegation is seeking to waive the state and local match requirement for all federally-funded highway, transit and rail projects through September 2009.The move would give Vermont and other states facing tight budgets a much-needed boost to improve roads and bridges, support public transit agencies and upgrade rail lines at no additional cost to the federal government.Transportation officials have reported that because of growing budget deficits at the state and local level, many ready-to-go projects simply cannot move forward without untying the strings of the required match. Under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act, states are typically required to meet a 10 or 20 percent match for federally funded projects.By waiving the match requirements, states and municipalities will be able to continue upgrading the nation’s crumbling infrastructure while stimulating the economy and quickly creating new jobs. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch are drafting legislation they plan to introduce in the coming weeks that would grant this waiver through September 2009.Leahy said, “It’s clear that Vermont’s infrastructure has suffered due to limited state funding. By allowing the free flow of federal funds to these projects, Vermonters will see improved roads and bridges, as well as additional jobs. With tight state budgets all over the country, Congress has a responsibility to enable the completion of projects that are already lined up and ready to go.”Sanders said, “Any economic recovery package should first improve our crumbling infrastructure by improving our roads, bridges and public transportation. The elimination of the state and local match would complement increased funding and heighten the effectiveness of economic recovery efforts. Our nation’s state and local governments are currently taking in far less revenue due to falling property values and reduced sales tax revenues, and also face higher borrowing costs in credit markets. These cities and towns are on the front line of our economic crisis and they would be the first to benefit from reduced matching requirements.”Welch said, “Vermont’s growing transportation budget shortfalls and lengthening project backlogs are bad news for our state’s economy and worse news for the safety of its drivers. As our roads and bridges crumble and our economy falters, we must work hard to find common-sense solutions to both problems. This no-cost waiver is a solid first step on our road to recovery.”last_img read more

Reds hit struggling Cardiff for six

first_img Press Association Brendan Rodgers’ team went behind on two occasions in the first half as Jordan Mutch and then Fraizer Campbell struck for the relegation-threatened hosts. But Skrtel claimed Liverpool’s second equaliser just before the break following Suarez’s 16th-minute effort from close range, before Cardiff were finished off during a devastating six-minute spell. Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick and Martin Skrtel struck twice as Liverpool underlined their Barclays Premier League title credentials in a thrilling 6-3 win at Cardiff. But it took Cardiff just nine minutes to open the scoring and Liverpool could have few complaints as Campbell’s impressive approach work created space that allowed Mutch to drive the ball home past Simon Mignolet. Mutch’s strike, though, stirred Liverpool into action, and they equalised seven minutes later when Jordan Henderson found Glen Johnson, and his slide-rule delivery was tucked away by Suarez. Suarez’s 26th goal of the season could easily have deflated Cardiff, yet they continued to play with an accuracy and tempo that belied their lowly league status. And that enterprise was rewarded when Campbell turned Daniel Agger inside out before finishing brilliantly past Mignolet to put Cardiff 2-1 up after 25 minutes of an enthralling contest. Liverpool tried to assert themselves on proceedings but they had to wait until four minutes before half-time before Cardiff could be punished for a second time. This time it was Coutinho who played in a telling pass from the left, and Skrtel inched ahead of Cardiff’s central defenders to deliver a left-footed finish past goalkeeper David Marshall. Marshall then had to save at Suarez’s feet in the final act of a gripping opening 45 minutes that saw Cardiff make light of trailing Liverpool by 37 points before kick-off. But Liverpool went ahead nine minutes into the second half when Skrtel pounced for his second, heading home a Coutinho corner. Cardiff, though, could feel aggrieved that referee Neil Swarbrick allowed the corner to be taken with Cardiff pair Theophile-Catherine and Mutch both on the touchline waiting to return after receiving treatment for knocks. It was rough justice on the home team, and Suarez rubbed their noses in the dirt six minutes later with another cool finish following a Sturridge back-heel that set the Uruguayan up. Suarez returned the compliment by providing the assist for Sturridge to post Liverpool’s fifth goal, and while Cardiff hardly deserved such a beating, there was no disguising the fact they had ultimately been crushed by a team oozing confidence, even though there was enough time for Mutch to cut the deficit and Suarez to claim his hat-trick. Skrtel’s 54th-minute header from a corner put Liverpool ahead for the first time, and then an audacious back-heel by Daniel Sturridge gave Suarez all the room he needed to make it six league wins on the bounce. Sturridge scored 15 minutes from time to continue Liverpool’s irresistible form and keep Cardiff in deep trouble and, despite Mutch claiming a consolation goal two minutes from the whistle, Suarez pounced deep in injury time. Liverpool remain four points behind leaders Chelsea with a game in hand, and Rodgers will breathe a sigh of relief after Cardiff arguably produced their best display during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s managerial reign. But when the Reds turned up the heat, Cardiff could not live with their precision passing and quality finishing, meaning they remain in the relegation zone with just seven games left. Rodgers made just one change from the side that beat Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford last weekend, with Philippe Coutinho taking over from Raheem Sterling. There was further pre-match evidence of discontent among Cardiff fans when supporters staged a peaceful protest against the club’s controversial rebrand under owner Vincent Tan from blue to red. A number of supporters’ groups combined to march to Cardiff City Stadium from a nearby pub, with many fans wearing blue inside and outside the ground. Cardiff dominated the opening exchanges, going close from a free-kick after Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was cautioned for fouling Campbell, then Kevin Theophile-Catherine blasted over the bar. last_img read more