Gov. Scott does not like idea of rail end-run

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As talk swirled Thursday that lawmakers and local leaders were looking for ways to accept $2.4 billion in federal money for high speed rail in Florida without his approval, Gov. Rick Scott said he did not think it was a good idea for the money to be given to municipal governments in central Florida, reports the News Service of Florida. A veto-proof majority of 26 members of the Florida Senate said Thursday that two rail panels they created, the Statewide Passenger Rail Commission and the Florida Rail Enterprise, had the legal authority to accept the money. The architect of that message, Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, also said that local mayors, metropolitan planning organizations and chambers of commerce were also considering their options for asking for the money Scott said Wednesday he did not want. But even as he experienced the first real pushback from lawmakers of his nascent administration, Scott maintained Thursday he made the right decision and said it would not be a good idea for local municipalities who want the money to go around him.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.