Tracking the Good and Bad News on California High-Speed Rail

Dan Walters reported over the weekend that recent efforts to appease various constituencies nervous about CA's HSR plans have paid off with the project likely to get the green light from the Legislature soon. But don't book your tickets just yet.

According to Walters, despite lingering questions about the overall cost, financing, and route, "the consensus of those who have been counting votes among the Legislature's dominant Democrats, who can give the California High-Speed Rail Authority authorization to sell bonds and begin construction of an initial segment in the San Joaquin Valley," is that there are enough votes for the project to proceed.

However, Ralph Vartabedian and Dan Weikel reported on Monday in the Los Angeles Times that the changes made to the project over the past year to appease critics may violate the law. According to Vartabedian and Weikel, "the revised blueprint for the system may violate requirements locked into state law when voters approved funding for the project in 2008. The Legislature packed the law with an unusual number of conditions intended to reassure voters, protect the project from later political compromises and ensure that it would not end up a bankrupted white elephant."

With a final business plan for the project expected this week, a request of $2.7 billion from the Legislature by Gov. Jerry Brown expected next month, and the need to start construction later this year, time is running out for the project to resolve its numerous potential obstacles.

Full Story: Dan Walters: Lawmakers ready to green-light California high-speed rail

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