By Keith Laing
States that want some or all of the $2.4 billion in high-speed rail money rejected by Florida have until Monday to submit applications to the Department of Transportation.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood reopened the application process for the money after Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said he would not accept it. State lawmakers sought to force him to take the money by suing, but the Florida Supreme Court ruled Scott had the right to reject the Obama administration's rail money.
Had it been accepted, the money would have paid for 90 percent of the construction cost of a railway between Tampa and Orlando. But Scott said the railway would not generate enough riders to sustain itself, repeatedly calling it a "federal boondoggle."
Several states in the Northeast and California have expressed interest in the money.
LaHood has said Scott's rejection was not indicative of the support for building high-speed rail in the U.S. Scott became the third Republican governor to give back money from the Obama administration, following Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.