Judge Weighs Penalty for $68B High-Speed Rail Plan

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Attorneys for the California High-Speed Rail Authority are arguing that only the state Legislature can halt funding for the bullet train project, despite a judge's ruling that the state violated promises made to voters in a 2008 ballot proposition.

A Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled in August that the rail authority "abused its discretion" by approving a funding plan that did not identify all sources of the money or have all the environmental clearances. He sided with landowners suing the state.

On Friday, Deputy Attorney General Michele Inan argued that "the taxpayers are represented through the legislative process" and have no recourse to step in.

Rail officials say they are spending federal money on the $68 billion project, not bond funds. But the federal money requires a California match.

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