SD to receive unspent earmarks$500,000 made available to state for transportation projects.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
WASHINGTON — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is making $500,000 in unspent earmarks immediately available to South Dakota, according to a news release.
The funds are included in a nationwide total of $473 million that is being turned back to all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
“We’re releasing these funds so South Dakota can get down to the business of moving transportation projects forward and putting our friends and neighbors back to work,” LaHood said.
President Obama has vowed to veto any bill that comes to his desk with earmarks and would support legislation to permanently ban earmarks.
But $473 million in highway earmarks from fiscal years 2003-2006 appropriation acts remain unspent years later. Those acts contain provisions that authorize the secretary to make the unused funds available for eligible surface transportation projects.
State departments of transportation will have the ability to use their unspent earmarked highway funds, some of which are nearly 10 years old, on any eligible highway, transit, passenger rail or port project.
All states must identify the projects they plan to use the funds for by Oct. 1, and must obligate them by Dec. 31.