Debbie Mayfield urges Rick Scott to ‘protect’ state from Brightline bond questions
Posted on April 25, 2018
By: Scott Powers, Florida Politics
Armed with newly-raised congressional skepticism about the legitimacy of a financing method used by the company, state Sen. Debbie Mayfield on Wednesday urged Gov. Rick Scott to pull Florida from the financing deal backing Brightline’s proposed private passenger railroad along the east coast.
At issue is $1.75 billion in federal, tax-exempt private activity bonds [PABs] that were approved last year for construction of the rail line for the privately-owned and -operated, higher-speed, passenger train railroad being developed by Brightline, formerly known as All Aboard Florida.
Brightline has promised high-speed, private passenger rail service connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando, pledging to do so with private money. Service already has begun between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, and is expected this year to connect to Miami, with Orlando still a few years away.
Opposition has centered largely within the ride-over counties of Florida’s Treasure and Space coasts, between the planned stops in West Palm Beach and Orlando. They have raised strong objections to potential safety and disruption issues the trains may pose...