The plan for a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando — under fire by both Republicans and Democrats since the Nov. 2 elections — has gotten vocal support from a member of incoming Gov.-elect Rick Scott’s transition team.
State Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, voiced support for the project, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Dockery is a rare voice in a climate that has turned on one of President Barack Obama’s signature issues — a transportation revolution via high-speed rail.
“Anyone who is trying to kill it is hurting all of Florida,” Dockery told the Herald-Tribune.
Dockery’s words come as the high-speed rail line has come under fire by both Republicans and Democrats. There is a $300 million shortfall to complete the line from Tampa and Orlando, and Scott has said taxpayers should not have to foot the bill.
Last week, Democratic state Sen. Jeremy Ring, a member of the Florida rail commission, also told The Florida Independent he could not support the project unless private companies bidding to construct the line invest their own money to close the funding gap.
Ring joined not only Scott but voices from the now-Republican-controlled U.S. House who are questioning the Tampa-Orlando line, which would be the nation’s first high-speed rail project. Just days after election day, the incoming chair of the House Transportation Committee, Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, questioned the viability of the project.