LEMIEUX URGES ACTION ON HISTORIC HIGH-SPEED RAIL OPPORTUNITY
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) today met with fellow Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and several Florida State lawmakers to talk about the potential for billions in Federal investment in high-speed rail in Florida. Senator LeMieux stressed that Florida’s chance for a multi-billion dollar boost from the U.S. Department of Transportation is in jeopardy if the State Legislature doesn’t take action on SunRail and other commuter rail systems by the end of the year.
“Shame on us if we don’t take advantage of this historic opportunity. The Federal government is ready to invest billions of dollars but they need a firm and long-term commitment from our state,” said LeMieux. “Building commuter and high-speed rail lines will create thousands of jobs; it will stimulate our economy; and it will mean transformative change for our metropolitan areas.”
Senators LeMieux and Nelson met with Senate President Jeff Atwater, Democrat Leader Al Lawson, and Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair J.D. Alexander.
“Florida’s senators stand together committed to helping our state construct high-speed rail. I commend Senators Atwater, Lawson, and Alexander for committing to pursuing this historic opportunity,” said LeMieux.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has roughly $8 billion set aside from the federal stimulus funds for high-speed rail projects. There are currently more than 200 applications from 40 states. Florida is applying for funds for the existing designated high-speed rail corridors from Tampa to Orlando and from Orlando to Miami.
According to communication from Metroplan Orlando:
Following distribution of the news release [above] yesterday, we received word that there will likely be a special legislative session to address the outstanding insurance and liability provisions necessary to finalize SunRail.
Governor Crist and Senate President Jeff Atwater are calling for a special session Dec. 7 – 11, which is a scheduled committee week. Currently we are waiting to hear if there is a call from the House Speaker, the remaining requirement to make the special session official.
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