In his infinite wisdom, Florida Gov. Rick Scott decided today that his state would reject federal funding for high-speed rail. Well, if Scott doesn’t want the economic and environmental benefits high-speed rail promises, California would be more than happy to take that funding off his hands to spark job creation here.
California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski:
California stands ready to accept Florida’s funding to continue leading the way in realizing President Obama’s bold vision for a national high-speed rail network. By rejecting high-speed rail today, Florida Gov. Rick Scott shrunk from the President’s challenge to embrace a 21st century infrastructure that will solidify our country’s position on the leading edge of global competiveness. Florida’s loss is California’s gain.
A coalition of business, labor and government is working together to make the vision of high-speed rail a reality in the Golden State. The $2 billion Florida rejected could be used immediately in California to break ground on the project and put tens of thousands of people back to work. With unemployment hovering at 12.5%, high-speed rail is just the economic spark our state needs.
High-speed rail would create as many as a half million jobs in California. And the economic benefits wouldn’t stop there. It would also boost small businesses and infuse cash into struggling communities. California has been the national leader on high-speed rail since Day One. And that commitment is the very reason we’re further along in the project than any other state.
Californians have displayed deep commitment to high-speed rail because we understand the economic and environmental benefits this project brings to our state. Voters have already approved a measure to devote nearly $10 billion to high-speed rail in coming years, and California’s commitment to the project has been rewarded with more federal funding than any other state.
California has a reputation as a state of visionaries — for good reason. When we see a challenge, we rise to the occasion. We stand ready to become the first state in the nation to fully realize high-speed rail’s promise.