The Florida High-Speed Passenger Rail Safety Act was pulled from the agenda by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee this Tuesday. The bill, and companion bill, Senate Bill 386, would have sought to establish guidelines on construction and safety in regards to All Aboard Florida’s high speed rail project. This bill would have also established that AAF would pay for all maintenance and improvements at railroad crossings in the Flordian communities.
“The fact that the bill was pulled form the committee agenda todays means the overwhelming input from groups such as the Florida Chamber and Florida TaxWatch, elected officials from key cities and newspaper editorial boards is making an impact,” Rusty Roberts, Brightline’s vice president for government affairs, said in a written statement. “We have been saying this bill is not about safety but an attack against private property rights and is targeting our company.”
Brent Hanlon, chairman of Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida, released the following statement:
“All Aboard Florida is taking a victory lap today in its public statements, but its latest actions are nothing more than a special interest group flexing its political muscle in a desperate attempt to protect its profits which are reliant on taxpayer subsidies. AAF continues to put the communities of South Florida on the hook for millions in upgrades to enhance safety measures and make a grab for taxpayer subsidies. We will continue to advocate for legislation that puts public safety first and we know that our elected leaders want the same. This is nothing more than an ill-conceived rail project by a private company that wants to shift costs to the taxpayers.”
Read more at here.
Original article written by Scott Powers of the Florida Politics