Sunday, December 13, 2009

Democratic Leader Sands: Credit Goes to President Obama and Congress for Florida's Rail Transit Prospects

Florida House Democratic Leader Franklin Sands (D-Weston) issued the following statement in response to the Legislature’s passage today of rail transit legislation:

“I congratulate my colleagues in the Florida Legislature for creating a policy foundation from which rail transit can become a viable transportation alternative for Florida’s citizens, tourists, and businesses throughout the state.

“Thanks foremost to the economic recovery funding made available by President Barack Obama and Congress, today’s action means Florida is now poised to receive substantial funding for an array of transportation-modernization strategies.

“Significant questions remain about details of the legislation, including whether all contracts will be competitively bid, the number of jobs that will be created for Floridians, and the long-term financial consequences for the state. But with hard-negotiated assurances in place to ensure that existing workers’ jobs can be preserved now and in the future with the development of SunRail, the Central Florida commuter rail, today’s passage of rail transit legislation marks an important stage of progress for our state.

“In the months ahead, Florida House Democrats vow to be vigilant in monitoring rail transit contracts and other developments to ensure that the promised creation of new construction and permanent jobs will be available foremost to Floridians, and that contracts for rail-related projects go to Florida-based businesses.

“Sadly, there are more than 1 million Floridians out of work today. It is crucial that Florida’s new rail-transit ambitions become real jobs of tomorrow for the people of our state.”

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