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Mikulski Asks Hogan to Help Protect Federal Funding for Purple Line

photo Barbara MikulskiU.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, who is vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, sent a letter to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan this week encouraging the Governor to contact Congressional Republican leadership in the both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate in an effort to join in working to protect federal funding to support the construction of the Purple Line light rail transportation project.

Mikulski said she has successfully secured $100 million for the project in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and included an additional $100 million in FY 2016 funding legislation that has yet to pass Congress.

“I encourage your help contacting the Congressional republican leadership. I am fighting for a new budget and I urge you to join me. Congress is again at a stalemate on how to proceed with the annual appropriations bills, and federal funding is severely limited because of sequestration,” Senator Mikulski wrote to Governor Hogan. “That is why I need your assistance in reaching out to House and Senate leadership to work on a budget deal that lifts the spending caps. We must work together across party lines to meet the nation and Maryland’s compelling infrastructure needs. These include economic development investments like the Purple Line, mass transit, and highways.”

The Purple Line is a 16-mile light rail line that runs east-west inside the Capital Beltway between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George’s County with 21 stations planned that will provide direct connections to Metrorail’s Orange Line, Green Line and two branches of the Red Line, and the MARC Brunswick, Camden and Penn Lines. According to MDOT, estimated ridership by 2040 is expected to be more than 74,000 and construction is estimated to create 6,300 regional jobs during the five-year construction period.

You can read Senator Mikulski’s Sept. 22nd letter to Governor Hogan, below:

“Dear Governor Hogan:

“Thank you for your letter regarding the Purple Line, a jobs corridor project for Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties

“As you noted, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) plans to commit $900 million in federal funding for the construction of the Purple Line once a full funding grant agreement is signed with the State of Maryland. Last year, as Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I included the first installment of this federal funding, $100 million, for the Purple Line in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (Public Law 113-235).

“In June, I provided a second installment of $100 million for the Purple Line in the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2016 transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Bill. However, transit funding is severely cut in this bill because of sequestration—a cut of $535 million, the lowest in over a decade.

“I encourage your help contacting the Congressional republican leadership. I am fighting for a new budget and I urge you to join me. Congress is again at a stalemate on how to proceed with the annual appropriations bills, and federal funding is severely limited because of sequestration. Without a new federal budget that lifts the discretionary budget caps for domestic and defense spending, Maryland’s ongoing economic recovery and business growth, including building the Purple Line, could be put in jeopardy.

“That is why I need your assistance in reaching out to House and Senate leadership to work on a budget deal that lifts the spending caps. We must work together across party lines to meet the nation and Maryland’s compelling infrastructure needs. These include economic development investments like the Purple Line, mass transit, and highways.

“Thank you for your prompt attention to my request and I wish you continued recovery.

“Sincerely,

Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator”

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