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California governor to rebut Trump in 1st State of State

14 February, 2019, 08:51 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Gov. Newsom Pulls the Plug on California’s Costly Bullet Train Boondoggle

- California's high-speed rail project is years behind schedule, over budget and some think the plan is slipping off the rails.

"There's been too little oversight and not enough transparency", Newsom said in his first State of the State Address to lawmakers on Tuesday.

An audit previous year was critical of the California high-speed rail authority's decision-making and oversight of billions of dollars.

Newsom fell short of entirely scrapping the idea of a statewide rail line, saying environmental work will continue and the state will keep pushing for "more federal funding and private dollars".

"Right now, there simply isn't a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A.", he said.

Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, said in a statement, "Governor Newsom clearly sees how vital an opportunity high-speed rail is for the Valley and has recommitted that the Merced rail line will be included up front and not pushed off to later phases".

"For those who want to walk away: Abandoning high-speed rail means we will have wasted billions of dollars with nothing but broken promises and lawsuits to show for it". Newsom said he has directed troops to focus on "real threats" such as fire prevention and going after illegal cannabis farms in the northern part of the state, as well as stopping the smuggling of drugs and guns at existing points of entry on the U.S. -Mexico border.

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The 520-mile journey would take less than three hours. "Let us be honest about the trade-off and let us be honest about the cost".

The governor's emphasis of fixing issues identified in the audit was a sign for some that the governor has not ruled out finishing the project to connect the state via a bullet train. The Central Valley segment was expected to cost $10.6 billion, according to the latest business plan. "It will ultimately be the backbone for the entire system connecting north to south so we need to get that done and take it from there". Newsom did not, however, cancel a portion of this rail line that will stretch from Bakersfield to Merced and is already under construction.

President Donald Trump demanded that California pay back the federal government for its abandoned high-speed rail project, in a tweet Wednesday evening.

The California High Speed Rail Authority had estimated the full line would have cost $77 billion to complete.

The first stop in the Bay Area for the high speed would have been San Jose.

"Essentially, the governor today made a commitment to close the gap between ACE and high-speed rail", Galgiani said. "How we protect migrants, care for seniors, and help the homeless, and how we will tackle the affordability crisis that is coming to define life in this state", Newsom said.

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