Commuter Rail Chugging Along
State House members are expected to give tentative approval of a plan to create a commuter rail system in Florida. The proposal fails to address serious concerns being raised by opponents. However, lawmakers are moving ahead with hopes of attracting federal money to build a high speed rail system.
Commuter rail supporters continue to argue a new 61 mile line across Central Florida and a 15-million dollar a year bailout of Tri Rail in South East Florida is just the first step toward true high speed rail.
Day two of the special session was dedicated to an explanation of the 49 page bill. While the House debate churned on, State Senators were home, and will stay their until Tuesday.
Part of the uncertainly deals with the future job prospects of more than a hundred railroad workers whose jobs are protected under Federal law, but could be without protections if the state creates the commuter rail project.
The AFL-CIO says an impasse remains. Without union support, the rail project looks more fragile than ever in the 40 member Senate.
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