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Lobbyist Money Help  

Amtrak request for less money denied by House Committee

February 10, 2004
Date: February 10, 2004
By: Paul C. Matadeen

State Capital Bureau

Amtrak loses a chance to get the money they need to continue its two-train service between St. Louis and Kansas City.

Paul Matadeen tells us about the narrow vote, and whom it might affect.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

By a single vote, Amtrak's request for almost $900,000 in state money died in House Committee.

Amtrak says it needs the money to contiune running two trains a day between St. Louis and Kanasas City.

But Spokesperson Marc Magliari says he's not giving up.

Actuality:MAGLARI2.WAV
RunTime: :10
OutCue:
Contents: "THERE'S STILL ANOTHER COMMITTEE AND THERE'S STILL ANOTHER CHAMBER AND THERE'S STILL PLENTY OF TIME FOR THE LEGISLATURE TO TAKE A POSITION. UNTIL THE LEGISLATURE ARE CLEAR AND FINAL, WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE OPERATING THE SERVICE."

[From October to January, over 40,000 passangers traveled the route.]

State transportation officials say they only have enough money to run both trains until the end of the month.

From the State Capitol, this is Paul Matadeen.

===UPDATE 2===

The House Budget Committee voted against giving Amtrak the money it needs to keep two trains running across Missouri.

Paul Matadeen tells us how a committee decision may keep one train dead in it's tracks.

Story: AMTRAK
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

For three years, the House Budget Committee has given Amtrak less and less money because of overall cuts in the state budget.

Rep. Carl Bearden, committee chairman, says he understands Amtrak's need, but there's no room for a temporary fix.

Actuality:
RunTime: :11
OutCue: "...BUS ROUTE."
Contents: "IT'S NOT THAT GOOD OF A SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE THAT WE CONTINUE TO PLUG THE GAP. IT'S VERY COSTLY. IT'S HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED BY THE STATE. IT COSTS FAR MORE TO SEND SOMEONE ON AMTRAK THAN IF WE RAN A BUS ROUTE."

Amtrak Spokesman Mark Magliari says he's confident that an agreement will be met before the appropiated money runs out.

State transportation officials say one train could stop running at the end of the month.

From the Capitol, this is Paul Matadeen.

==UPDATE 3===

The House Budget committee rejects Amtrak's request for over $900,000.

And that could mean one less train on the tracks.

Paul Matadeen tells us why a recurring problem may have finnay come to an end.

Story:PCMK/R203
RunTime: APPROX. :40
OutCue: SOC

For three years, the state has given Amtrak money to run two trains across the state. That's because of overall budget cuts.

And by the middle of the year, Amtrak asks for more money to make it to the end.

But the House Budget committee says they can't patch the problem any more.

Actuality: BEARDEN3.WAV
RunTime: :09
OutCue: "...PUT IT IN."
Contents: "I'M LOOKIN FOR AMTRAK TO COME TO THE TABLE AND SAY HERE'S WHAT WE CAN DO, THEN THE STATE WILL COME TO THE TABLE MAKE WE ALL UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT SOLUTION IS AND IF WE ALL AGREE, LET'S PUT IT IN."

State transportation officials say there's enough money to keep both trains running until the end of the month.

After that, one train could stop.

But Amtrak Spokesman Mark Maglari says he's confident they will get extra funding.

From the State Capitol, this is Paul Matadeen.