Sen. Jeremy Ring, a Lauderdale Lakes Democrat and one of the founders of Yahoo.com, said Gov. Rick Scott's decision to cancel the high speed rail will send a negative message to venture capitalists considering whether to invest in Florida.
"Rarely do you use Florida and innovation in the same sentence and this had a chance to bring us into a 21st Century economy,'' Ring said. "All it does is take us back to the 20th Century economy which collapsed on us and it's not coming back. We've got 400,000 vacant homes in this state and unless we innovate we're not going to compete on a global scale. We keep using the word jobs. It's not about jobs initially; it's about creating an environment for jobs and wealth and opportunity. This put us on the map to really be an innovative leader nationally and globally. This sets us way back.''
"We're not going to be viewed as economic leader with these kinds of decisions. Who would invest in our state?"
He called it a "major, major, major decision -- a wrong decision -- that will change the dynamics of transportation for the next 50 years." He said that the emergence of Yahoo, Google and E-bay in the 1990s created so many jobs and so much wealth that it put money into the community and allowed it to thrive. "That sort of innovation economy is never going to exist in Florida if we continue to make decisions like this decision."