WASHINGTON — Governor Rick Scott of Florida won’t reconsider his refusal of $2.4 billion in federal money for a rail project after Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood gave him a week to think it over.
“Our taxpayers aren’t going to take the risk of the cost overrun,’’ Scott said yesterday on CNN’s “State of the Union.’’ Constructing the proposed high-speed line from Tampa to Orlando would cost $3 billion, he estimated. “I haven’t seen how we can do it.’’
LaHood said on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt’’ that he provided extra time after meeting with Scott in Washington on Friday.
Scott “has committed to making a final decision by the end of next week,’’ LaHood said in a statement. “I feel we owe it to the people of Florida who have been working to bring high-speed rail to their state for the last 20 years to go the extra mile.’’
Scott, 58, who’s in Washington for a weekend meeting of the National Governors Association, said on Bloomberg Television that the state would have to repay the $2.4 billion if the program failed.
“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,’’ LaHood said.
Scott said he would prefer the money go toward rebuilding Florida’s ports. “We’ve got the Panama Canal expansion, we’ve got the expansion of the economies of Central and South America,’’ he said on CNN. “Put that money into the Florida ports.’’