Today, the Newsom Administration presented their budget before Assembly Budget Committee Sub 3 to give the High Speed Rail Authority another $526 million to spend on a failed project. The High Speed Rail Authority can no longer afford to build their route between Merced and Bakersfield; it is estimated to be between $10 and $12 billion in the hole according to last week’s project update. Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Central Valley), Vice Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, issued the following statement:
“The structurally flawed California High Speed Rail project continues to flounder – an absolute waste of taxpayer dollars. The Legislature should end the continuous funding to this project.
“Why is the state giving this failing project more than half a billion dollars when the state is facing more than $22.5 billion deficit?
“Voters were promised in 2008 that a $9 billion state investment would complete a high-speed rail that connects San Francisco and Los Angeles by 2020. The new project cost is approaching $128 billion.
“Taxpayers are getting fleeced. Facing out of control costs, delays and lower ridership projections, it is time for the Governor to stop this waste of taxpayer dollars.”
Please note: The state has given High Speed Rail $5.3 billion of cap-and-trade monies since its inception, not $4.3 billion as stated in the committee hearing.
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Assemblyman Vince Fong represents the 32nd Assembly District, which encompasses Kern
and Tulare Counties.