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Schatz Secures $70 Million For Honolulu Rail Project In New COVID-19 Relief Bill

New Federal Funding Will Help HART, Honolulu Pay For Part Of Its Share, Help Cover Tax Revenue Loss Due To Pandemic; As New Chairman of Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Schatz Worked With House Leaders To Secure Funding For Hawai‘i In House Bill

HONOLULU – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, helped secure $70 million for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project. The new federal funding will help the City and County of Honolulu pay for a portion of its share of the cost of the project, making up for the loss in tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our goal here was to help the City pay for part of its share by covering the loss in local tax revenue caused by the pandemic. This provides some relief, but HART and the City must still come up with a workable financial plan and get this project up and running for the people of Honolulu,” said Senator Schatz.

Last month, Schatz was named Chairman of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, and immediately went to work. With the City and County of Honolulu facing a significant tax revenue shortfall due to the pandemic, Schatz worked with House leaders and pushed to include federal funding that would help the City make up for the tax loss and keep the rail project on track.

The Schatz provision was included in the COVID-19 relief package passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday. The Senate is expected to consider the House bill this week.