SENATOR MARCO RUBIO CHALLENGES LEGITIMACY OF BRIGHTLINE FINANCING

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 9:00am

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO JOIN REP. BRIAN MAST AND QUESTIONS BRIGHTLINE'S APPROVAL FOR $1.75 BILLION OF TAX-EXEMPT BONDS. Rubio has sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, calling for "increased transparency" on Brightline and the U.S. Department of Transportation's questionable approval of the bonds.

This is not the first letter that Rubio has sent questioning the Brightline project. In January, Rubio asked Chao for a safety review after two people were killed within the first week of Brightline launching service between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.

"When federal financing mechanisms are utilized, it is critical that the utmost transparency is proved to taxpayers," Rubio wrote. Brightline "has raised questions regarding whether federal financing was appropriately used. I urge the Department of Transportation to provide clarity."

Rubio joins Rep. Brian Mast among many other Florida legislators, who have questioned aspects of the project. They both also question whether Brightline should qualify for private-activity bonds, which, under federal law, are for certain highway projects and passenger railroads that travel faster than 150 mph (Brightline peaks at a speed of 110 mph).

Read more here.

The original article is written by Lisa Broadt of the TC Palm.