There was no shortage of takers for the $1.2 billion in federal passenger-rail funds that newly elected Republican governors in Wisconsin and Ohio said they don’t want. U.S. Dept. of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on Dec. 9 that 14 states may divide the $1.2 billion that earlier had been awarded to Wisconsin and Ohio. California will get the largest share of the turned-back funds, $624 million.
Many observers will be watching Florida to see whether the $342.3 million the Sunshine State gets in the redistribution will be enough to keep alive a proposed Tampa-Orlando rail line. Governor-elect Rick Scott (R) has said he won't proceed with the project if Florida is required to contribute more of its of own funds. The additional money supplements $2 billion DOT awarded to Florida earlier this year and brings the state’s federal total to the amount it had requested from Uncle Sam.