Senator asks Gov Scott to freeze Sunrail contracts; says lack of diversity
By James Call
Tallahassee, FL – Orlando Senator Gary Siplin is asking Governor Rick Scott to stop awarding contracts for the building of Sunrail, a central Florida commuter train. James Call reports, Siplin says the Department of Transportation is not including minority-owned businesses in the project.
Siplin says according to state documents just one contract worth 150 thousand dollars went to an African-American subcontractor. That's out of about a billion dollars spent. Siplin was not a SunRail supporter but he said proponents promised that the project would create jobs, including jobs for minorities.
"All I'm saying is if you spend a billion dollars, we have $200 million left, let's make sure they keep their word and contract with some minorities and hire some minorities while there's still some money in the pot."
Officials in the governor's office declined to respond to questions about Siplin's letter. Construction on phase 1 of the Sunrail project is expected to begin before the end of the year.