Klobuchar Announces Funding for NLX Rail Line

Friday, December 11th, 2009 at 6:40 am

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced today that $18.7 million in funding for Northeast Minnesota National Guard facilities, transportation, health care efficiency, and law enforcement initiatives is included in the FY2010 Omnibus Appropriations bill.

Klobuchar included $500,000 for the design and planning of the Northern Lights Express rail line, which will eventually provide Minnesotans with the option of a two-hour commute on a high speed rail line connecting Minneapolis and Duluth.

“Infrastructure initiatives like the Northern Lights Express are critical to creating jobs to fuel local businesses and provide safe and reliable transportation for Minnesota families,” Klobuchar said.

Klobuchar successfully fought for $15 million for a new jet fuel storage complex at the Duluth International Airport, to be utilized by the Minnesota Army National Guard, as well as $1,710,000 for an urban assault course at the Camp Ripley training facility in Little Falls, MN.

“Time and again, our Minnesota Guard members set their private lives aside to serve their state and their country,’’ Klobuchar said. “I’m proud we will be able to provide them the very best facilities for training and readiness.’’

The bill also includes $550,000 for the implementation of a cost-saving electronic health records program at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth.  The project will help implement information technology in health care facilities to reduce costs, improve quality and strengthen health care provider collaboration.  Klobuchar has previously provided $485,000 for these efforts.

Senator Klobuchar also secured $300,000 in funding for communications equipment for the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Regional Interoperability Mobile Data System Project, as well as $240,000 for the Itasca County 9-1-1 Radio System.

“When I was County Attorney I would often meet with law enforcement officials across our state to discuss best practices and areas for improvement. It became very clear very quickly that they needed tools to help them better communicate between jurisdictions, especially in our rural areas,” said Klobuchar. “This funding I secured will allow these communities to make important upgrades to their existing communications systems”

The Senate is expected to pass the FY2010 Omnibus Appropriations bill this weekend.

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