State Senator Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) introduced legislation today that would put high-speed rail back on the November ballot in California. The measure would give voters the chance to de-authorize the $9 billion bond measure passed in 2008.
According to Mark Spannagel, spokesman for Senator LaMalfa, the measure would "eliminate the project."
In a statement, LaMalfa said, “Voters have been misled about the true costs of High Speed Rail from the start. The costs have tripled since 2008 and every objective observer has said this project is too expensive and is unlikely to be completed.”
Meanwhile, in an interview in LA over the weekend, Governor Jerry Brown said that the current estimated $100 billion price tag for the project was “way off,” and said that revenue from cap and trade regulations would help finance the project.
Currently, the project has secured about $12 billion in a combination of federal funds and a state bond measure approved by voters in 2008. In order not to lose the federal money, construction needs to begin this year, and is required to start in the Central Valley, far from major metropolitan centers.
Brown also said that he was redesigning the plan so that the first phase of construction in the Central Valley would “justify the state investment,” even if it was the only part of the rail plan ever constructed.