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Wis., Ohio high-speed rail money goes to N.C., elsewhere

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is taking $1.2 billion in high-speed rail money away from Ohio and Wisconsin and awarding it to 12 other states, including North Carolina, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Thursday, according to The Associated Press.

Ohio and Wisconsin have elected incoming Republican governors who oppose the rail projects, the AP reported Thursday. Those governors, whose states have been hit hard by the economic downturn, had asked if they could divert the money to other projects.

But LaHood said he was awarding the money to states that are eager to have it for their rail projects.

States gaining the most money include California, $624 million; Florida, $342 million; Washington, $161 million; and Illinois, $42 million. Other states receiving lesser amounts include New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, North Carolina, Iowa, Vermont and Indiana.

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