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Maryland Transit: Bill jeopardizes rail funding

Monday - 3/10/2014, 6:40pm  ET

Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Legal problems could arise if Maryland tries to force a French rail company to pay reparations to Holocaust victims, rather than leaving negotiations to the U.S. government.

James Knighton, director of governmental affairs for the Maryland Transit Administration, told the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday that the state needs federal funds for its Purple Line light rail project. This is a proposed light rail that would connect Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

Keolis America, a company owned by the French government, is one of four teams vying for the project.

Legislators are considering bills that would block Keolis from bidding until it compensates Holocaust victims who were carried on its trains to concentration camps during World War II.

But Knighton said this would jeopardize federal rail project contributions.

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