Two senators sue Scott over high-speed railby Dara Kam | March 1st, 2011
Sens. Thad Altman, a Melbourne Republican, and Arthenia Joyner, a Tampa Democrat, have filed a lawsuit against Gov. Rick Scott over his rejection of $2.4 billion from the federal government for a high-speed rail project.
The bipartisan duo asked the Florida Supreme Court to force Scott to accept the money, challenging Scott’s authority to turn down money his predecessor Charlie Crist had already accepted.
Altman and Joyner also asked the court to agree with them that Scott exceeded his authority because the legislature had already appropriated part of the funds he’s now refused.
They also want the court to issue a temporary injunction while they’re considering the case, if they decide to take it up.
Scott, with the support of tea party activists, calls the $2.7 billion project a boondoggle. He says he doesn’t believe the train will support itself and fears that taxpayers will be on the hook for cost overruns and future operations.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood met with Scott last week in Washington and gave Florida another week to come up with an alternate plan, something a bipartisan coalition of local, state and federal lawmakers have been scrambling to accomplish.
But Scott remains unconvinced and has given no indication he will change his mind.