State Sens. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, and Thad Atlman, R-Melbourne, have filed a petition (avaialable below) with the Florida Supreme Court challenging Gov. Rick Scott’s authority to scuttle the state’s proposed high-speed rail line.
State Sens. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, and Thad Atlman, R-Melbourne, have filed a petition (available below) with the Florida Supreme Court challenging Gov. Rick Scott’s authority to scuttle the state’s proposed high-speed rail line.
Their lawsuit questions whether Scott can effectively veto a project given funding by the legislature, approved by another governor (his predecessor, Charlie Crist), and supported by the federal Department of Transportation.
“He is not the CEO of Florida,” Joyner said today. “He’s got to see that government works differently.”
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is asking for more time, calling on Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to extend the March 4 deadline to allow the lawsuit to proceed, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The suit is moving fast. The court has ordered Scott to reply by noon tomorrow and given Joyner and Altman till 4 p.m. the same day to respond. See the documents here.
Altman said efforts to gather documents for the suit were complicated by the fact that the Florida high-speed rail website has been partially down since last week.
He said he and Scott share many of the same principles, but blocking the project doesn’t make business sense.
“I think sending $2.4 billion to another state would be a colossal mistake,” he said.
When asked by state lawmakers how much new EPA water quality standards may cost Florida businesses, the Department of Environmental Protection supplied them with numbers written by the very industries that could be affected. In doing so, the department vouched for the statistics as the most 'likely' estimates despite the EPA's vigorous disagreement, and without indicating the business-affiliated source of the numbers.