Emerson Tries Budget End-Run to Stop Closure of Mapping Center

JUNE 9, 2006 - Posted at 11:15 a.m. CST

WASHINGTON - Missouri lawmakers are trying a new tactic to stop the federal government from closing its mapping center in Rolla.

House Republican Jo Ann Emerson has included language in the U.S. Interior Department's 2007 spending bill that requires officials to spend $13 million to keep the Rolla office open.

The bill passed the House last month, but it's uncertain whether the Senate will adopt the same language later this year.

Emerson says she's trying to save nearly 200 jobs in her southeast Missouri district.

The Interior Department decided last year to consolidate mapping operations in Denver.  But Emerson claims officials ignored evidence showing Rolla as the best location for the merged operations.

The Bush administration says Emerson's language interferes with efforts to save money.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)