The complaint tabled by Republican Senator Mr Thad Altman and Democrat
Mrs Arthenia Joyner argues Scott acted outside his jurisdiction in
rejecting $US 2.4 billion in federal funding because responsibility for
administering federal funds rests solely with the state legislature and
not the governor. Furthermore, because Scott's predecessor accepted the
funds and the state government approved the creation of a body, Florida
Rail Enterprise, to manage the project, the state may be legally-bound
to proceed with construction.

Scott told transportation secretary Mr Ray LaHood on February 16 that
the state would decline funding for the line between Orlando and Tampa
on the grounds that capital cost overruns "could put Florida taxpayers
on the hook for $US 3 billion." Writing in the Orlando Sentinel last
week, US High-Speed Rail Association chairman Mr Andy Kunz said Scott
had provided no evidence to support this figure, which is equivalent to
more than double the total cost of the project.

In recent weeks local governments along the route of the 135km line
have formed a coalition that would take responsibility for tendering
and ensure that construction and revenue risk is fully covered to the
concessionaire, although Scott has rejected even this proposal in the
belief that the state could still be exposed to financial risk.

Lawsuits against incoming governors are not uncommon in Florida, and
the previous two governors faced legal challenges to their authority
from state senators soon after taking office. In both cases, the
Florida Supreme Court ruled against the governor.