California’s High Speed Rail line in jeopardy

California
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FILE – In this Feb. 26, 2015, file photo, a full-scale mock-up of a high-speed train is displayed at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Leaders of California’s high-speed rail project are telling the Trump administration its plans to withhold or claw back $3.5 billion in federal money for the project is “legally indefensible” and “disastrous […]

SACRAMENTO (KRON) — KRON4’s Capitol Bureau reporter Ashley Zavala has confirmed that the Federal Government has rejected California’s appeal to keep crucial funding for the High Speed Rail line.

The Federal Railroad Administration announced Thursday it will not give California the $1 billion, saying the state failed to comply with the terms of its grant and has abandoned the original vision for a train between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Without this money, the legislative analyst office has warned there would not be enough money to complete the Bakersfield – Merced line. 

The administration will still try to force California to return another $2.5 billion.

The money is critical to the project and could kill it.

Newsom’s comments in February that there was not a path to finishing the project as planned prompted federal officials to threaten the funding. Newsom says he’s still committed to the full line.

Newsom says the Trump administration’s move to revoke nearly $1 billion for California’s high-speed rail project is “illegal” and “a direct assault” on the state.
    
He said Thursday that California will defend its right to the money in court.
 

The U.S. Department of Transportation released the following statement on Thursday: 

“After careful consideration, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has terminated Cooperative Agreement No. FR-HSR-0118-12-01-01 (the FY10 Agreement) with the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), and will deobligate the $928,620,000 in funding under that agreement.  The decision follows FRA’s Notice of Intent to Terminate and consideration of the information provided by CHSRA on March 4, 2019. FRA finds that CHSRA has repeatedly failed to comply with the terms of the FY10 Agreement and has failed to make reasonable progress on the Project.  Additionally, California has abandoned its original vision of a high-speed passenger rail service connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles, which was essential to its applications for FRA grant funding.  FRA continues to consider all options regarding the return of $2.5 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds awarded to CHSRA.”

 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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