21st Century Transportation for America


Senate Democratic Leader Pro Tempore Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa) and Senator Thad Altman (R-Melbourne) on Tuesday filed a petition with the Supreme Court in a legislative attempt to green light high speed rail in Florida and put thousands of Floridians back to work.

Florida Supreme Court Hearing

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“The issue at hand is the ability to create a state of the art rail line, at no cost to the taxpayers, and put people to work now and in the future,” said Sen. Joyner. “Stopping this project not only went against everything the governor promised during his campaign, it goes against his constitutional authority as well. The money Florida tax payers sent to Washington should return to benefit Florida.  Unfortunately, litigation was the only way to make that happen.”


“This issue is one of great constitutional significance,” said Senator Altman. ”Our founding fathers created a system of three separate and co-equal branches of government. Clearly the governor’s actions have exceeded his constitutional authority. To maintain the integrity of our democracy, it is incumbent that we assert the rights of the people who elect their representatives. And the Surpeme Court is the proper venue to seek relief.”


Click to view Lawsuit:


Click to view Legal Report:

USHSR: Time to Hop Aboard or Be Left Behind

"Governor Scott's actions were premature.  He made his decision without the benefit of the ridership study he commissioned, which was soon to be released.  The RFQ submissions were never issued which would have given the bidding teams the opportunity to cover all operations and maintenance costs.  He also failed to provide the private sector with the opportunity to cover any construction funding gaps.  It makes people wonder what's really going on." -Andy Kunz, President USHSR
“We are extremely disappointed by Governor Rick Scott’s decision to walk away from the job creating and economic development benefits of high speed rail in Florida,” LaHood said in a statement.  “We worked with the governor to make sure we eliminated all financial risk for the state, instead requiring private businesses competing for the project to assume cost overruns and operating expenses. It is projects like these that will help America out-build our global competitors and lay the foundation needed to win the future. This project could have supported thousands of good-paying jobs for Floridians and helped grow Florida businesses, all while alleviating congestion on Florida’s highways. Nevertheless, there is overwhelming demand for high speed rail in other states that are enthusiastic to receive Florida’s funding and the economic benefits it can deliver, such as manufacturing and construction jobs, as well as private development along its corridors." -U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood
"I made this appeal to the governor this morning," said Congressman John Mica.  "With the federal government assuming 90 percent of the cost of the project, I am disappointed the private sector will not have an opportunity to even offer innovative proposals to help finance the balance of the costs and to construct and operate this system." -House Transportation Chairman John Mica
"Citing concerns that the project’s costs would spin out of control and that taxpayers would be burdened with operating subsidies, Mr. Scott argued that fiscal prudence gave him no choice. The Governor apparently has no trust in the private companies he claims to laud, failing to give them a chance to demonstrate their interest in the project. He apparently has no interest in offering his citizens the opportunity to pioneer a mode of transportation that has been repeatedly scuttled in Florida and elsewhere, by the distinctively American ability to ignore the potential benefits of intercity rail.." -Transport Politic
"I don't understand the governor's lack of vision for the state.  I think he has a very rigid ideology that is getting in the way of job opportunities for Floridians.  It's a devastating decision for jobs, for Florida and our economic future.  He should immediately reconsider his decision in order to save these jobs and not send the investment dollars to California and other states.  The governor's campaign slogan was 'let's get to work,' but his refusal to accept vital investment dollars eliminates the opportunity to put thousands of Floridians to work in construction, engineering, architecture and most all areas of Florida's economy." -Congresswoman Kathy Castor
"This is eating our seed corn, its turning down 24,000 jobs, when we badly need them." -Senator Bill Nelson
"The Constitution doesn't allow the governor to not-spend appropriations funds" and there is $300 million appropriated in the budget to put into development of the rail line between Orlando and Tampa.  -J.D. Alexander, Florida State Budget Chairman
"This is one of the most exciting private sector projects in the history of this country" cancelling was tragic, premature, "bad for the people of Florida.  The governor needs to at least allow the bid process to carry forward.  Is he afraid of the bid?  Let the private sector come in and show us what they could do.  He's using government to short-change the private sector's opportunity to bid and showcase how this can work.  Don't use your position as governor to stand in the way of the private sector to show what it can do.  This isn't about federal policy.  This is about Florida.  If he wants to make a statement on federal policy he can do so, but don't use our $2.7 billion to do that.  That money belongs to the people of Florida.  What he's doing is reaching into the pocket of taxpayers and taking $2.7 billion from them.  He's governor now.  It's not about his opinion.  It's about what's best for the people of Florida."  -Senator Thad Altman
"In effect, the message being sent to eight worldwide business consortiums across the globe and the United States is 'don't bother'.  As a mayor who cares about economic development and the encouragement of investment by the private sector, I can not understand or justify his stance."  -Tampa Mayor Iorio
"STOP SCOTT" says Florida
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