Bill funding Vermont transportation needs clears House, sent to PresidentWashington, D.C. Rep. Peter Welch (VT-AL) supported and the House passed HR 6532, the Highway Trust Fund Restoration Act, to address a projected shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund and restore more than $8 billion in federal funding for states.The bill, which has cleared the Senate and will now be sent to the president for his signature, restores over $47 million in federal transportation funding for Vermont’s roads and bridges.”Our roads and bridges in Vermont and across the country are falling into disrepair. It is simply unacceptable to continue to neglect the up-keep and safety of our transportation system,” said Welch. “The federal government needs to be a partner in supporting states in meeting our pressing infrastructure needs.”In FY2008, federal Trust Fund spending for Vermont is $161,725,931. Without action by Congress, the Federal Highway Administration estimates that Vermont’s funding will be cut to $114,413,876 for FY2009.The legislation prevents this $47,312,055 cut to Vermont transportation projects.In 1998, in response to concerns that the Highway Account’s $16.5 billion balance was too large, Congress transferred more than $8 billion from the Highway Trust Fund to the General Fund.In the face of major Highway Trust Fund shortfalls in 2009 and beyond, H.R. 6532 restores $8.017 billion in highway-user taxes to the Highway Trust Fund that were originally transferred in 1998.# # #
By Dialogo January 01, 2010 Boasting one of the fastest supercomputers in the world, a team of top scientists and a campus at which female and male students can mingle freely, Saudi Arabia’s new multibillion-dollar university aims to break both scientific and social barriers. Classrooms are integrated, women are allowed to drive on campus and, as the photo shows, they aren’t required to shroud themselves in the black abaya. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology was officially launched in September 2009 and is expected to propel the kingdom into the top ranks of technological research, reported Agence France-Presse. The master’s and doctorate degree students represent more than 60 countries, with 15 percent from Saudi Arabia.