TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott responded Wednesday to a lawsuit suggesting he must accept $2.4 billion in federal money for a high-speed rail project in the state.
The lawsuit was filed by two state lawmakers, a Republican and a Democrat, who believe Scott has no choice but to accept the money. They believe the money was already approved by the legislature and former Gov. Charlie Crist, and Scott is skirting separation of powers by not approving it.
Scott, however, disagrees. In his response to the lawsuit, filed in the Florida Supreme Court, Scott argues the decision is one “the Governor is entitled to make.”
He reiterates his belief the “high-speed rail is not wise policy” and will “ultimately prove detrimental to the taxypayers of the State.”
Responding to the argument the legislature has already approved the $2.4 billion, Scott counters that state lawmakers only approved $131 million in funding. The remainder was never approved by the legislature, Scott contends. That gives him the power, he beileves, to reject it.
He also suggests the federal government will not give the state the high-speed rail money unless the governor supports the project. He believes that gives him the power to reject the money as well.
The Florida Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the matter Thursday at 3:00 p.m.
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