BRIGHTLINE'S PRIVATE-ACTIVITY BONDS IN PERIL, BUT PHASE 2 CONSTRUCTION NEARING

Publish Date: 
Monday, May 7, 2018 - 9:45am

BRIGHTLINE HAS UNTIL MAY 31 TO SELL THE $1.15 BILLION OF PRIVATE-ACTIVITY BONDS FOR PHASE 2 OF ITS PASSENGER RAILROAD BUT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF A SALE IN SIGHT. This deadline was set by the U.S. Department of Transporation when it approved the bonds December 22.

As Brightline and the DOT face new political pressure, the DOT may not be able to be as lenient as they were before. Senator Marco Rubio recently questioned whether Brightline even qualified for the approved bonds and his spokesman, Anthony Cruz, stated Thursday that "if Brightline requests (an extension), Sen. Rubio will look into taking further action."

Representative Brian Mast also stated that he "would also oppose an extension and any other attempts by Brightline to use (the bonds) granted in circumvention of the will of Congress."

The root of this turmoil is due to the political challenge of the federal transportation program Title 23, which were granted to the Federal East Coast, not Brightline. "Any federal highway dollars granted benefited FECR - an entirely different company," Chairman Brent Hanlon stated in an email Thursday. "Now that the whole world knows (Brightline) never received Title 23 funding, DOT should rescind the bond allocation."

Read more here.

Original Article written by Lisa Broadt of the TC Palm.