Ways to Circumvent Wingnuts needed
Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday rejected the federal government’s offer of $2.4 billion to build the line — prompting cheers from his tea party base, and harsh criticism from leading Florida Republicans and Democrats alike — squashing a project that has been decades in the making.
“The truth is that this project would be far too costly to taxpayers and I believe the risk far outweighs the benefits,” Scott said.
Reverberations from the stunning announcement were swift.
State legislators questioned if the governor had the authority to unilaterally kill high-speed rail, and members of Florida’s congressional delegation discussed with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood ways to circumvent Scott’s decision.
One possibility: Cut the state out of the equation and have cities along the rail line form a partnership to receive the federal dollars.
“We have DOT lawyers now researching to see how we can work around the governor’s decision,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat.