By Keith Laing - 03/08/11 11:13 PM EST
"Look at where California is (financially). They don't have enough money to build it now," he said.
California was the only state to top Florida's $2.4 billion federal award, and the only other state as far along in planning of what President Obama hopes will become a nationwide network of high-speed trains.
The state hopes to build a 123-mile line from Bakersfield through Fresno, with the eventual aim of an 800-mile line between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The trains would run 220 miles-per-hour.
State leaders in California had already requested the money when Florida's Gov. Rick Scott first said he would reject the funding last month, but several senators from northeastern states have also expressed desires that the money be sent to their states.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has not said where Florida's money would be redirected, as he worked with local leaders in Florida and waited on a decision in suit filed against Scott’s decision.
LaHood maintained his commitment to high-speed rail.
“The Obama Administration’s bold high-speed rail plan will not only create jobs and reinvigorate our manufacturing sector in the near term, it is a crucial and strategic investment in America’s future prosperity," LaHood said in statement after Scott formally rejected the money last week.
"I know that states across America are enthusiastic about receiving additional support to help bring America’s high-speed rail network to life and deliver all its economic benefits to their citizens,” LaHood said.