And agreeing to send $800,000 directly to Racine. The projects the bill will fund here are:
- $100,000 to fight crime with four license plate recognition cameras to be mounted on police cars.
- $500,000 for Gateway Technical College, to renovate and equip its Health Occupations Laboratory.
- $200,000 for Racine’s EXCEL Program to address student risk factors and student / parent needs. This program includes age-appropriate activities in a variety of curriculum areas that address the physical, intellectual, and emotional needs of the students.
Racine's projects are just three of 5,244 earmarks included by members of Congress, with a total cost of just under $4 billion, according to the nonpartisan group Taxpayers for Common Sense.
Another earmark that may benefit us is $3,409,000 to enhance Wisconsin’s transit system: The federal funds will be used to support Wisconsin’s transit agencies, by purchasing buses, support vehicles, vans and taxis across the state. Funding will also go to construct, upgrade and repair transit facilities and to purchase equipment to improve fleet operations and security.
We had an earlier story about the license plate recognition cameras in November, when the Senate first approved its version of the Appropriations bill, but now it goes to President Obama for signature... and disbursement. And just in time, we might add: the government's previous spending authorization bill expires on Dec. 18.