Gov. Rick Scott’s approval of SunRail triggered criticism from Republicans and Scott’s tea party base while sharpening a contrast with his earlier rejection of a federally funded high-speed rail initiative.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Gov. Scott could not be bound to spend $2.4 billion in federal high-speed rail money. That money will now go to New York or California.
Judging from Justices’ questions, the legislators’ case to force the governor to accept $2.4 billion in federal funding for the bullet train looked slim after Thursday’s arguments before the high court.
Set for 3 p.m. Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court showdown over $2.4 billion in federal money underscores the divide between Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-dominated Legislature ahead of next week’s legislative session.
The central Florida senators–one Republican, one Democrat–say Scott had no authority to cancel an act of the Legislature and cash appropriations former Gov. Crist had already approved for the $2.4 billion Orlando-Tampa high-speed rail link.
Despite billions in federal subsidies, John Mica’s and Florida’s governor are effectively killing two major rail projects, including one that would have run through Flagler, by shifting the financial burden to non-existent private interests.