Florida State Senator says He May Ask State High Court to Reopen High Speed Rail Case
April 15, 2011 | WMFE - The Central Florida lawmaker who sued Governor Rick Scott's administration for scrapping Florida's high speed rail plan says he feels vindicated after the Governor's office admitted it mis-stated how much money the state had spent on the project. But Senator Thad Altman says he's not sure what legal course to take now that the rail money is being offered to other states.
Melborne Republican Thad Altman argued before the Florida Supreme Court last month that Governor Rick Scott had a constitutional duty to carry out the high speed rail program which had been approved by the previous governor.
As part of the counter-argument, the governor’s legal council told the court that the state had spent110 million dollars already on the project. But this week, the governor's office said that number was too high.
Senator Altman was not surprised, "Clearly we were right. We argued that only 30 million had been spent we had appropriated $130 million. (In effect), that money had been impounded, that he in effect was trying to veto something that the previous governor had approved and that the project was being held up."
After hearing all the arguments, the Florida supreme court ruled Governor Scott DID have the authority to reject 2.4 billion dollars in federal money for the high-speed train.
Senator Altman says he may consider asking the Court to reopen the case - but he thinks there’s little chance to get the federal money back.