WASHINGTON (CBS4) – Just weeks after Florida Governor Rick Scott turned down $2.4 billion and thousands of jobs from the federal government, the Obama Administration has reluctantly made the money available for other high-speed rail projects across the country.
Scott refused the money for claims that the state would have been on the hook for the money, which was flatly denied by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Scott also said it would cost the state too much to build and run the train, even though private businesses were willing to cover the costs.
“States across the country have been banging down our door for the opportunity to receive additional high-speed rail dollars and to deliver all of its economic benefits to their citizens,” Secretary LaHood said.
Florida lost potentially thousands of jobs when Scott turned down the money, even though the Florida Legislature had approved the project in a special session.
LaHood said that all of the businesses vying to build high-speed rail lines in the United States have agreed to employ only American workers and locate or expand their base of operations in the U.S. if they are selected for high-speed rail contracts.