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Senate earmarks tussle hits home turf projects

Dec 22, 2010 6:13 am
Although the term earmarks makes home turf congressional expenditures sound like unwanted pests, in actuality they have a whole other affect within regions such as the Hudson Valley, and towns and cities like ours. They involve local institutions, local jobs, and local needs not addressed otherwise by regular federal, state or municipal budgeting, which tends to be done on large-stroke theme bases. Which is the sense one gets from an ambitious piece in today's Register Star and Daily Mail working from wire service stories about the effects of the Senate GOP's recent blockage of an omnibus spending package that had some substantial economic aid for our region in it. The earmarks mentioned as being planned for our area, and now held back indefinitely given the strengthening partisan battles in Washington, included $650,000 for health information and technology equipment at Columbia Memorial Hospital, $500,000 for a program at SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry designed to combat Asian Long-Horned Beetle in state forests, nearly $4 million for solar energy research and production tied to the regional Solar Energy Consortium, and $19,000 in pre-disaster mitigation for the town of Livingston. For the full story, which includes more analysis and commentary on DC politics than is usual for our local papers, click HERE..., or for the full story on what the earmarks setback will be doing to the mid-Hudson Valley's hopes for economic re-emergence tied to renewable energy resources, backed with government money, click HERE...
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