This morning, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) announced plans to abandon the state’s high-speed rail project that would have linked Tampa to Orlando. The cancellation means that $2.4B in federal money already committed to the project will be returned and likely doled out to other states pursuing inter-city rail funds. Scott’s announcement parallels those from other fellow gubernatorial Republicans in Wisconsin and Ohio who’ve similarly killed HSR projects, from which Washington State has already benefited.
This morning, WSDOT announced that it plans to follow suit in vying for Florida’s money:
“I’ve said many times, if other states don’t want this funding, Washington state is ready to put it to work,” Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire said. “We’ve been committed to expanding and improving high-speed passenger rail not just to increase convenience for passengers, but to promote Washington state as a great place to visit and live. These rail lines take cars off our roads while moving workers and tourists between Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, B.C. These federal funds are an investment in our economy, and support hundreds of construction and operating jobs in our state.”