Bill to divert funds away from California High-Speed Rail project stopped in its tracks

May 04 2021 05:30 pm

A bill to divert funding away from the troubled California High-Speed Rail project was stopped in its tracks at the capitol Thursday.

The proposal would have redirected a portion of cap and trade dollars to Calfire.

Lawmakers behind the proposal say the agency only receives “patchwork funding” to fight fires. 

Meanwhile, the high-speed rail project, which was recently downgraded to a line between Merced and Bakersfield, is still plagued with cost overruns and mismanagement.

“I’m not trying to kill high-speed rail. I’m just trying to put our funds where they really should go to and what would do the most help right now to really help air quality, which is giving it to Calfire so we can prevent forest fires,” says assemblymember Devon Mathis (R-Visalia)

The bill was shot down along party lines in an assembly transportation committee.

To date, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has spent $614 million of cap and trade funds on the project. 

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