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Fla senators ask LaHood for more time on rail

by Dara Kam | February 17th, 2011

A bipartisan coalition of Florida state senators asked U.S. Transportation Department Secretary Ray LaHood to give them more time to come up with a way to take advantage of the $2.4 billion in federal funds Gov. Rick Scott rejected yesterday.

Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, convinced 25 of her Republican and Democratic colleagues, including Sens. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Wellington, and Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, sign her letter to LaHood.

They say the Florida Rail Enterprise or the Florida Statewide Passenger Rail Commission, both created by the legislature in 2009, are possible entities to draw down the money to go around Scott, who heads the state’s transportation agency that originally sought the funds under Gov. Charlie Crist. The commission is comprised of nine members – three each appointed by the governor, the House Speaker and the Senate President.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and other members of Florida’s Congressional delegation are meeting with LaHood in a last-ditch effort to keep the money set to be distributed to the states tomorrow.

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6 Responses to “Fla senators ask LaHood for more time on rail”

  1. mustlovedawgs611 Says:

    Apparently spending ridiculous amounts of money on luxury items is the “cool” thing to do these days, but I applaud the 15 senators led by Senate President Haridopolos who have consistently called on the Governor to reject this money. Thanks to their willingness to be actual leaders the federal government might actually be able to cut $2.5 billion from the federal deficit.

  2. Choo Choo Says:

    Mustlovedawgs611 – That’s not what’s going to happen. It will go to another state like CA.

  3. Robert Goldsmith Says:

    Ridiculous! They just do not get it. They clearly do not understand last November’s election results. Each of these legislators should be voted out of office.

  4. monkeysauce Says:

    Choo Choo, why does it HAVE to be that way? Why can’t Congress get serious about this deficit and use that $2.5 bill to pay it down? Oh, you mean they don’t care about the deficit? I didn’t think so. I’m glad Haridopolos and these other Senators are sticking to their guns here. Unlike Nelson, Mike seems serious about stopping deficit spending.

  5. Steve R Says:

    I see several Republican incumbents that will be facing primary challenges.

    High-speed rail is a payoff to unions and a boondoggle to taxpayers.

    Ridership estimates are always inflated and the systems always require taxpayer subsidies to survive.

    Governor Scott did the right thing. These legislators are making a huge mistake.

  6. Norm, Barnes Says:

    Give the 2.5 billion to AMTRAK. We don’t need two(2) AMTRAKS !!

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