By Opinion Staff - June 19th, 2014 Palm Beach Post
A powerful state senator from the Treasure Coast has jumped onto the region’s growing bandwagon opposing All Aboard Florida, the private long-distance passenger rail that plans to transport travelers between Miami and Orlando.
But not – he says – because of the fears of traffic jams or inconvenienced boaters or environmental concerns.
The stated source of Sen. Joe Negron’s concerns? That the service might be created with help from a federal loan.
“This project was marketed to our community as entirely funded with private funds,” Negron told The Post’s Kimberly Miller last month. “We subsequently learn that the linchpin of the project is a $1.5 billion federal loan.”
Negron, a Stuart Republican and the powerful head of the Senate’s appropriations committee, also fretted about the possibility that the project could be aided by state grants, saying that “my instinct tells me there will probably be other state issues that will intersect with this project.”
Negron’s concerns about a company benefiting from government loans or grants are being echoed on the political left, too, with U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, proffering similar worries and the Florida Democratic Party painting Gov. Rick Scott as a liar for calling All Aboard Florida “a private company” and a “100-percent private venture.”
Are you troubled by All Aboard Florida’s request for a $1.5 billion federal loan?