House to Probe California's High-Speed Rail Project

In their rush to avoid working on a long-term transportation funding measure, a congressional committee has launched a wide-ranging examination of the California high-speed rail project, reports Dan Weikel.
April 10, 2012, 2pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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According to Weikel, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), notified the California High-Speed Rail Authority on Monday that it would be looking into "possible conflicts of interest and how the agency overseeing it [the HSR project] plans to spend billions of dollars in federal assistance."

"The committee's notification letter says there are additional concerns about the project's compliance with Proposition 1A, the California ballot measure passed in 2008 that authorized more than $9 billion in state bonds for the project. The panel further notes that since 2010, allegations of conflict of interest have surfaced regarding authority board members at a time when the authority received and spent federal funds," writes Weikel.

The federal government has thus far committed to providing $4 billion to help fund the estimated $68 billion project.

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Published on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 in Los Angeles Times
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