Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Despite D.C. sales pitch, Gov. Rick Scott remains cautious about high-speed rail in Florida

WASHINGTON — Florida Gov. Rick Scott emerged from a meeting Friday afternoon with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood with the same caution he has expressed before on high-speed rail. "He's a believer," Scott said. "I'm the one that's responsible to the taxpayers of Florida, though."

President Barack Obama is making a hard push for rail, mentioning it in his State of the Union address this week, and a planned Orlando-to-Tampa line is a centerpiece of that effort. But Scott remains skeptical, even though the project will mostly be paid for with $2.4 billion in federal stimulus money. Scott said he is waiting on a ridership study, due in February.

Advocates think they have some sway over Scott due to his campaign promise to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. "I clearly care about jobs," Scott said, "but I also care about the taxpayers in the state and want to understand what risk we're taking. When you're the governor, you have to weigh all these issues."

Scott isn't against all federal funding.

He talked to LaHood about funding to ensure Florida's shipping ports are equipped for larger containers expected with the 2014 Panama Canal expansion.

Scott also met with Education Secretary Arne Duncan. He's sticking around Washington for TV interviews today with Bloomberg and Fox News.

Despite D.C. sales pitch, Gov. Rick Scott remains cautious about high-speed rail in Florida 01/28/11 [Last modified: Friday, January 28, 2011 9:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas construction licensing board looking for ways to fill financial hole

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board's interim leader told the governing board Tuesday that the troubled agency is looking for ways to climb out of its

  2. Adam Putnam calls for special session on medical marijuana


    Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Republican candidate for governor Adam Putnam wants state lawmakers to come back to Tallahassee in a special session to finish the work on medical marijuana that they started but didn't finish earlier this month.

    Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam is a candidate for governor in 2018.
  3. We Tried That: Working on a food truck for a day


    What we tried: It seems like everyone and their mother wants to open a food truck.

    Carlynn Crosby prepares food at the Empamamas food truck in the Cigar City Brewing parking lot in Tampa this month. For a variety of reasons, food trucking is not for the faint of heart.
  4. Local child welfare non-profits lose funding as Eckerd Kids focuses on keeping children out of foster care


    When it comes to getting children out of foster care, the non-profit group Directions for Living has one of the best records in Florida.

    Eckerd Kids
  5. Carlton: A little less swagger, Mr. Mayor?


    In the dispute-gone-national over a bad joke uttered by Tampa's mayor, it is instructive to recall the nickname bestowed upon him by the local military.

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn fires a .50 caliber machine gun from a rigid hull inflatable boat during the International Special Operations Capabilities Demonstration at the Tampa Convention Center Wednesday, June 25, 2016. JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times