California High Speed Rail On Life Support

<p>California's governor supports infrastructure funding and fights global warming, but he has no love for high speed rail. His proposed budget may kill a high speed rail agency, and he wants a $9.95 billion rail bond removed from the 2008 ballot.</p>
January 31, 2007, 2pm PST | Irvin Dawid
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"Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposes slashing funding for the High Speed Rail Authority from $14 million to $1.2 million, leaving the group with enough just to keep its doors open."

"With his focus on road building, the governor also wants the Legislature to indefinitely delay a $9.95 billion rail bond slated for the 2008 ballot. That would clear the way for $29 billion in bonds the governor wants to put on the ballot to pay for courthouses, schools and dams -- the second phase of his 'strategic growth plan' that would spend billions of dollars on roads but nothing on high-speed rail."

"Construction costs are estimated to approach $40 billion. But Mehdi Morshed, the High Speed Rail Authority's executive director, said the longer the state waits, the more expensive it will get."

"'There's really no public purpose for me and my staff to be in office unless you want to move forward with the project,' said Morshed, who wants the governor and lawmakers to approve $103 million for the project next year. 'If you don't want to move forward with the project, then close it down and save yourself some money.'"

Thanks to The Roundup

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Published on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 in The Sacramento Bee
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