Gov. Scott's $400 million high-speed rail victory
The U.S. DOT today awarded about $2 billion in high-speed rail funding to 15 states, saying it was money that would have gone to Florida. But Florida was set to receive $2.4 billion. What happened to the $400 million?
The DOT today acknowledged that it was part of the budget-cutting deal that prevented a government shutdown.
Last month, Scott had jumped on news that rail funds were part of the budget deal, but DOT said at the time that Florida's funds were not part of that mix. So Scott can claim a small victory today.
Sort of. The governor had taken credit* for averting the shutdown. Left unmentioned was that he did not want to return the federal money. Indeed, Scott wanted to direct it to Florida ports and widening roads. For that, Scott earned a "full flop" from PolitiFact Florida.
* UPDATE: Scott spokesman Brian Burgess took exception with the characterization that Scott had taken credit. He writes, "In fact, it was the Huffington Post that mentioned the link between HSR dollars and the budget deal. We only 'took credit' in a tongue-in-cheek way …apparently that wasn’t clear from the release. But just so we’re clear, Huffington Post and other media outlets made the case for us. We just trumpeted those articles."