Across Florida
What's happening on other political blogs?

Gov. Rick Scott says SunRail, hi-speed rail “two totally different” projects

by Dara Kam | July 1st, 2011

Gov. Rick Scott defended his decision to allow a controversial Central Florida commuter rail project to move forward, saying he legally had no authority to block the $1.5 billion SunRail line as he did when rejecting $2.4 billion in federal funds for high-speed rail.

Scott, a tea party favorite, put SunRail on hold when he took office in January, freezing four contracts totaling $235 million. Tea party activists, railing against the commuter line, met privately with Scott to urge him to axe it.

Scott earned national headlines when he said ‘no thanks’ to $2.4 billion in federal stimulus funds for high-speed rail. Two lawmakers – one of them a fellow Republican – sued Scott but failed to convince the courts that Scott had overstepped his authority in sending back the money.

Scott said his lawyers told him there was a “significant risk” he would have lost a similar court challenge had he tried to block the commuter project.

“These are two totally different projects,” Scott told newspaper executives at the annual Florida Press Association and Florida Society of Newspaper Editors meeting at the Renaissance Vinoy Hotel in St. Petersburg. “It’s like comparing apples to oranges.”

Local officials’ pledge to cover cost overruns gave Scott some security in approving the project, backed by powerful GOP legislators including House Speaker Dean Cannon of Winter Park – and local officials of both parties.

Even so, he said, “I don’t know that I would have made the decision to go forward with this if I had been around three or four years ago.”

Tags: , , ,

18 Responses to “Gov. Rick Scott says SunRail, hi-speed rail “two totally different” projects”

  1. Tommy D. Says:

    Payday baby!

  2. Bill Sharpe Says:

    Wish this guy was just a bad dream but he is a nightmare instead.

    Next project: decimate public education

    To be followed by: decimate law enforcement

  3. dark gator Says:

    Rick Scott is a genius! Time for him to show the entire nation how things are done in Florida! Rick Scott for President!!!

  4. David Says:

    Next, he will take credit for all the jobs he created by making sure this project moves forward.

  5. steve Says:

    Yes they are two totally different projects. One would not have cost Florida Taxpayers a dime for cost over-runs, nor for lack of revenue, and produce more jobs, the other will cost Florida Taxpayers for cost over-runs and lack of revenue and produce less jobs. And which one does the governor pick? The one that’s going to cost Florida Taxpayers and produce less jobs!!!

  6. Okay then Says:

    Okay then, fine. They’re two totally different projects. I hope the people of Central Florida remember that they’re responsible for the inevitable cost overruns when they arise. Because the rest of Florida’s taxpayers aren’t going to pick up their tab.

    No wonder Rick Scott is unpopular with Democrats and Republicans alike.

  7. Please tell me Says:

    How come republicans hate science?

  8. steven Says:

    Bill…you’re certainly not Sharp as your name would imply. In a perfect world, everything is paid for. But in the world we live in NOTHING is paid for. The forest service, the coast guard, you name it…it ain’t paid for! And unlike our Federal govt. which can print more money and borrow/mortgage your children’s future and your grandchildren’s future…states cannot. Rick Scott is doing the heavy lifting and not afraid of what spendaholic libs like you think.

  9. Tea Partier Says:

    A special session was called in December 2009 by then Gov. Charlie Crist. Senate President Jeff Atwater made a deal with Senate Democrats to get SunRail passed in the Senate. It was passed in the house and signed by Charlie Crist. Money was appropriated by the legislature in the 2010 budge and signed by Crist.

    There is no provision in the Florida Constitution for a sitting governor to overturn a bill passed by the legislature and signed by a former governor. If you can find it please post the article and paragraph here.

  10. Mimi Says:

    Stephen, just who do you think will pay for Sun Rail? You tea party tax payers … especially the ones who can least afford the pay for the taxes that will go up. Your buddy Scott is mortgaging your kid’s future by cutting the educational budget, giving tax breaks to his wealthy cronies and cutting the very departments that keep Florida livable. Just wait… you’ll see happens, and soon.

  11. Bob Says:

    Rick Scott is great for cutting the budget. I’ve been wanting someone like him for a long time. However, I think he’s doing it a bit too quickly and without knowing what all the impacts will be. Some of the cuts should be done over two or three years rather than in a month. We must pray for our leaders, that God would give them wisdom and humulity to rule.

  12. Oh Please Says:

    Local officials pledge to cover cost overruns, that’s a joke. What about the huge operating deficits? We’re screwed. Time to leave Florida. No one is going to use the stupid thing anyway.

  13. NOBAMA Says:

    Scott got paid off…

  14. mike Says:

    This is clearly another example of the gop “sacraficing our economy” for political reasons. The difference between this rail and the other rail? The democrats would have received credit for the fed funded rail and it would have created jobs therby helping to stimulate our economy. So, again the gotp are furthering our suffering in a pathetic attempt to discredit our President. Vote out all the t-party destroyers.

  15. Tea Party Patriot Says:

    Scott is liar! I have never been so disappointed!

  16. Terry Says:

    There is one thing I know for certain. ‘Tea Party Patriot’ is NOT a ‘Tea Party Patriot’. What a liar! This is just another example of liberal democrats pretending to be tea party members in a desperate effort to undermine the tea party movement.

    The REAL Tea Party Patriots are glad that Governor Scott is doing such a GREAT job, so far.

    We are happy that his efforts have managed to bring down the unemployment rate in Florida by cutting the useless spending in Tallahassee.

    We know he would have killed this useless boondoggle if he could have but this is another debt we have to pay off left to US by that backstabber Crist.

    Happy 4th of July and GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  17. Dee Says:

    Tery that’s rich comming from you! Tea bags and repugnants alike hate America and the freedoms she stands for. You want to destroy America every way you can. And by the way don’t thank God that is totally tacky.

  18. Proud 58 Says:

    Playing politics with health care, jobs, education – is that really what Jesus would do? Please ask yourself that question if you are a Christian; and try to realize that in today’s world, Jesus would be referred to as a “spendaholic lib” or worse…

Florida political tweeters
Video: Politics stories