Second GOP senator backs off opposition to Scott and high-speed railby Dara Kam | March 3rd, 2011
Sen. Mike Bennett reversed his opposition to Gov. Rick Scott’s rejection of $2.4 billion for a high-speed rail project from Orlando to Tampa.
Bennett, a Bradenton Republican who is the Senate president pro tempore, sent letters to Scott and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking to remove his name from the list of 25 senators who objected to Scott’s refusal to accept the federal funds.
“I do not support the use of taxpayer money for High Speed Rail and fully support your decision to return the monies earmarked for High Speed Rail. I believe that it is simply irresponsible to spend $2.4 billion on such projects when we face a $14 trillion in federal debt. We cannot borrow our way into prosperity,” Bennett wrote.
Bennett also made it clear he does not support a lawsuit filed against Scott this week by fellow Sens. Thad Altman, a Rockledge Republican, and Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa.
Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, also revoked his signature from the letter sent by a bipartisan coalition of senators led by Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, an early Scott supporter during his campaign for governor.
Senate President Mike Haridopolos, a Merritt Island Republican running for the U.S. Senate, also supports Scott’s rejection of the federal funds and opposes the lawsuit.
The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in the lawsuit today at 3 p.m.