On eve of Obama visit, Scott seeks feds' port money
On the eve of President Barack Obama's scheduled visit to Port Miami on Friday, Gov. Rick Scott criticized the president for being "late to the party" on seaport improvements, and said the state is awaiting tens of millions of dollars in federal money for improvements in Miami and Jacksonville.
Over the past three years, Scott said, Florida taxpayers have invested $425 million in port improvements, notably the dredging of the Miami port channel, to improve international trade with Latin America and Asia and prepare for the expansion of the Panama Canal.
"We could not wait for the federal government to come to the table with their share of the project," Scott said. "When President Obama comes to the port of Miami tomorrow, we would like him to commit the federal government's reimbursement of $75 million Florida taxpayer dollars that we have spent on the federal government's share of the dregding project."
Scott has made port funding a cornerstone of his job creation efforts in the state. On a conference call with reporters, Scott was joined by Port Miami director Bill Johnson, president of the Florida Ports Council.