In his proposed budget, Florida governor Rick Scott is bringing pain to Tri-Rail after it awarded a controversial $511 million contract to the highest bidder last week. Scott wants to withhold all state funding from Tri-Rail.
Tri-Rail, formally known as as the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, awarded the contract after disqualifying all other bidders for submitting “contingent bids”. All affected bidder dispute that they submitted “contingent bids”. State senator Jeff Brandes, governor Scott and outgoing Department of Transportation secretary Jim Boxold all spoke up before the Tri-Rail board’s vote last Friday and asked them to delay it, but to no avail.
The board now appears to have been richly repaid for their tone-dead action. Below is the relevant excerpt of the governor’s proposed budget. The governor appears to both be starving and reining in Tri-Rail. When asked whether the governor’s measure is likely to pass, a person familiar with the matter said “very.”
The Guardian was the first to investigate this contact award, and events have escalated quickly in this breaking story. Please stay tuned for updates. As always, the Guardian reports and the readers decide. Please like our Facebook page to find out when we publish new stories.