(St. Albans, NY)- Yesterday, Florida Governor Rick Scott decided to reject $2.4 billion in federal stimulus aid for an Orlando to Tampa high speed rail route jeopardizing thousands of jobs and the opportunity to alleviate congestion on Florida’s highways.
“President Barack Obama outlined this week a six year, $53 billion investment in a national high speed rail intercity passenger rail network, solidifying his commitment to invest in the transportation infrastructure desperately needed in the United States,” Senator Malcolm A. Smith, co-chair of the High Speed Rail Working Group of the National Conference of State Legislatures said. “Unfortunately for the residents of Florida, Governor Scott has decided to reject $2.4 billion in federal stimulus money for his state’s high speed rail project.”
“New York State is ready and willing to move forward with our high speed rail project that will lay the foundation to put the United States in a position to be globally competitive moving goods and people more efficiently, create thousands of jobs, and alleviate our dependency on foreign oil,” Senator Smith said. “New York remains fully committed to moving forward with high speed rail and we will gladly take Florida’s $2.4 billion to build the Northeast Corridor which will connect us with our friends in Canada greatly enhancing our ability for international trade.”
(Malcolm A. Smith is the New York State Senate Immediate Past President Pro Tempore (2008-10)