Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott approved Sunrail, ending months of speculation over whether he would allow commuter rail to become a reality in Florida.
Sunrail, which will run from Deland to Poinciana has had its battles in the past with big political names on standing on both sides of the issue. Scott’s transportation secretary was criss-crossing Central Florida, earlier this week gauging support on Sunrail, with passionate activists that were for and against the train, meeting him in full public hearings at each stop.
Politicians in favor of the train run through both parties putting members of the Congress like Republican John Mica and Corrine Brown on the same side and State Lawmakers like Dean Cannon and Darren Soto on one team. All touting job creation (approximately 42,000) and a major metropolitan, transportation milestone for Orlando.
Those opposed to the train, include State Senator Paula Dockery, and major figures from the tea party movement, all citing possible costs overruns, the current financial stability of the market, and questions over ridership when the trains start running. All valid concerns, all would fall on local governments if they were ever to occur.
Florida Governor Rick Scott becomes more of a enigma as ever.
Polling only at 29%, you have got to wonder if the Tea Party will forgive him. Granted, he has been a very friendly with their conservative requests, lowering taxes at every turn, cutting state costs with a chainsaw, regardless of how painful the cuts may be and going to work on the teachers and workers unions forcing them to contribute to their retirement pensions.
Did Rick Scott start his re-election campaign today?
4,200 jobs down, 695,800 to go. There is enough Republican support behind the project to keep the legislature behind him, and while it’s unlikely that Democratic lawmakers will run to their constituents and sing his praises, he will be able to tout, advancement in job creation and transportation to all of the citizens in Florida. With rumors that Charlie Crist is pondering another run at the Governor’s mansion, this was almost “a must” for political survival.
So, Sunrail is coming to Central Florida….again. Mr. Burns smiled and cracked open a Coca-Cola to the masses, Lex Luthor sent the economy a “Get Well” card, Voldemort, regardless of the ultimate success of the project, is finally starting to put people to work.