On July 6-7, California legislators approved funding for a high-speed rail line connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco. The bill passed the Assembly and state Senate and now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. It was approved by Democrats and was spearheaded by Brown and labor groups.
How much will this massive undertaking cost? According to Judy Lin of the Associated Press, the bill allows the state to begin selling $4.5 billion in voter-approved bonds that includes $2.6 billion to build an initial 130-mile stretch of the high-speed rail line in the Central Valley. That will allow the state to collect another $32 billion in federal funds. The first segment will connect Madera to Bakersfield and the final cost of the completed project between Los Angeles and San Francisco will be $68 billion.
The problem is that California is broke and the debt-ridden federal government is out of money.
Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, said public support has waned for the project, and there are many questions about financing to complete it. Where are additional commitments of federal funding, private funding or dedicated funding sources for the future? There are none.
Fellow Californians, once again, the Democratic-controlled Legislature wants to spend money we do not have and tax us more. It is outrageous and unrealistic. California is going over a cliff. Does anyone care?
In November, we must change the direction our state is going. Vote out every politician who supported this costly high-speed rail legislation.