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Feds give Scott more time on high speed rail | People

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Feds give Scott more time on high speed rail
Feds give Scott more time on high speed rail

Washington, DC -- U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is giving Governor Rick Scott some extra time to change his mind about federal funds for high speed rail.

The two met Friday in Washington, a day after Scott rejected a last-ditch effort by local leaders in the Tampa Bay to Orlando corridor to save the $2.3 billion in federal funds.

Here is the statement sent to 10 News from DOT Secretary LaHood:

"This morning I met with Governor Rick Scott to discuss the high speed rail project that will create jobs and economic development for the entire state of Florida. He asked me for additional information about the state's role in this project, the responsibilities of the Florida Department of Transportation, as well as how the state would be protected from liability. I have decided to give Governor Scott additional time to review the agreement crafted by local officials from Orlando, Tampa, Lakeland and Miami, and to consult with his staff at the state Department of Transportation. He has committed to making a final decision by the end of next week. I feel we owe it to the people of Florida, who have been working to bring high speed rail to their state for the last 20 years, to go the extra mile."

Governor Scott has said the spending is not merited. He criticized President Barack Obama's spending plans while also saying he didn't believe the rail project would meet ridership estimates of just more than three million a year.

Friday afternoon, Scott released a statement in response to LaHood giving him more time.

"My position on high speed rail remains unchanged.  I believe high speed rail is a federal boondoggle.  Secretary LaHood has extended his own deadline.  It is important to note that I have yet to see any proposal that accomplishes my goal of eliminating risk to Florida's taxpayers," Scott said.

Scott says unless the deal on the table changes in the next week, he will reject the 84 mile high speed train from Tampa ro Orlando.

More Florida High speed rail coverage:
2/24/11 -
Gov. Scott stands firm against rail
2/21/11 - Tampa rallies for, against high-speed rail
2/16/11 - Gov. Scott didn't wait for taxpayer-funded study
2/16/11 - Gov. Scott rejects federal High Speed Rail money
1/18/11 - Florida GOP, Dems lining up in support of HSR
1/11/11 - New report provides hope for HSR in Florida
1/6/11- Gov. Scott weighs high-speed rail options
12/10/10 - Federal funds roll in as other states reject rail
11/9/10 - Nelson, Iorio plead with Rick Scott to support high-speed rail
10/8/10 - Election Day could derail high-speed trains
7/19/10 - Work on high-speed rail lines begin along I-4

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