The newly-elected Republican governor this morning said he's rejecting the adminstration's offer of $2.4 billion for a high-speed rail project between Orlando and Tampa.
Scott says he told U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood of the state’s decision, which he said "came down to three main economic realities," that "capital cost overruns" could cost Florida taxpayers $3 billion; that ridership and revenue projections are "historically overly-optimistic and would likely result in ongoing subsidies" and that "if the project becomes too costly for taxpayers and is shut down, the state would have to return the $2.4 billion."
" The truth is that this project would be far too costly to taxpayers and I believe the risk far outweighs the benefit."
The decision is likely to sit well with fiscal conservatives in the state, and with other states that would like the dollars. But House Transportation Committee chair John Mica, an Orlando-area Republican, called it a "huge setback" for the state.