Rick Scott, the Lord Voldemort of Florida
Rick Scott is the third GOP governor to reject high speed rail money

Rick Scott derails high speed train, tells Obama keep the money

Rscott079 Gov. Rick Scott just announced that he is nixing the proposed high speed rail from Tampa to Orlando.

Here are excerpts from Scott's prepared remarks:

....today I am announcing my decision to reject the Obama administration’s plan to partially-fund the costly Tampa to Orlando high-speed rail project.

Moments ago I spoke with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to inform him of my decision.   I appreciate the Secretary’s efforts to work with us and I look forward to working with him in the future.

My decision to reject the project comes down to three main economic realities:

First – capital cost overruns from the project could put Florida taxpayers on the hook for an additional $3 billion.

Second – ridership and revenue projections are historically overly-optimistic and would likely result in ongoing subsidies that state taxpayers would have to incur. (from $300 million – $575 million over 10 years) – Note: The state subsidizes Tri-Rail $34.6 million a year while passenger revenues covers only $10.4 million of the $64 million annual operating budget.

 Finally – if the project becomes too costly for taxpayers and is shut down, the state would have to return the $2.4 billion in federal funds to D.C.

This announcement is going to make a whole bunch of Central Florida folks very unhappy.

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