Three programs affecting Evanston are earmarked for funding under the House-passed version of the federal economic stimulus plan.

The Daily Herald reports that among $2 million in earmarks designated by Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston are $25,000 for an Evanston anti-gang initiative, $100,000 for the Evanston YWCA’s domestic abuse program and $237,000 for planning expansion of the CTA Yellow Line.

The earmarks total identified by the Herald for Schakowsky is the smallest of the five suburban congressmen the paper studied. Some other suburban lawmakers refused to make any earmarks because of controversy over the funding practice.

All the earmarks remain up in the air because the Senate has delayed a final vote on the program, in part because of concerns about the earmark process.

Critics say earmarks skew funding priorities, inflate budgets and let lawmakers reward campaign contributors with direct federal grants.

Original story

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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