By Keith Laing - 04/06/11 01:57 PM EDT
"Since I announced the availability of an additional $2.4 billion for high-speed rail projects, governors and members of Congress have been clamoring for the opportunity to participate," LaHood continued. "That’s because they know that high-speed rail will deliver tens of thousands of jobs, spur economic development across their communities and create additional options for their citizens as the country’s population grows. We have received more than 90 applications from 24 states, the District of Columbia and Amtrak for projects in the Northeast Corridor, with preliminary requests totaling nearly $10 billion."
LaHood noted there was "bipartisan enthusiasm" for the requests, which was not the case when Republicans governors in Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio said "no thanks" to federal money.
The Transportation Department gave states that were interested in the funds until this week to submit applications. State lawmakers in Florida sued to force Gov. Rick Scott (R) to take the money, 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.
The Transportation Department did not say which states had applied for the rail money.