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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sen. Carey Baker calls SunRail's a 'big bad wolf'



Last year, Eustis Republican Sen. Carey Baker was a yes on SunRail. But now he says ...

"Originally I committed to the SunRail ... a Little Red Riding Hood bill. Instead we're voting on this big bad wolf bill."

Ouch. Senate President Jeff Atwater had called the special session on rail to garner more votes. But Baker shows that he just lost one. And he didn't have many to spare. Baker just made the announcement at a workshop where Sen. Paula Dockery and Sen. Ronda Storms eviscerated the proposal by casting doubts on the liability provisions, the cost and the need for the rail deal. They also didn't buy the leadership's statements that this isn't a SunRail bill, that instead it's a Rail bill. Sure it is.

Dockery pointed out that many in leadership scuttled her husband's high-speed rail citizens initiative in 2004. Among them: Sen. Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, who cast a yes vote asking for a repeal of the constitutional amendment in 2004.

Another objection to the bill: little time to discuss it. Storms said each senator only had an average of 6 minutes of questions for a bill that would ultimately cost taxpayers more than $1 billion.

"I had more time to shop for a home computer than I did to study the provisions of this ... and I object to that," she said.

Marc Caputo, Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:08pm]


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