Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday that he’s rejecting $2.4 billion in federal funding for high-speed rail.
"I’m not comfortable this is a project we should be doing," Scott said at a hastily called news conference in Tallahassee after a phone conversation with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Scott said he was not sure high-speed rail would bring taxpayers a return on their investment and he felt money would be better spent on state highway and seaport improvements.
The rail was intended to connect Tampa, Lakeland and Orlando.
State Senate budget chairman J.D. Alexander said he was told of the governor’s announcement via a text message but warned that the governor doesn’t have the authority to unilaterally cancel the project.
"The Constitution doesn’t allow the governor to not-spend appropriations funds" and there is $300 million appropriated in the budget to put into development of the rail line between Orlando and Tampa, Alexander said.
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