Assembly Transportation Committee Vice Chair Vince Fong and Assembly Education Committee Vice Chair Kevin Kiley announced legislation Thursday to stop High-Speed Rail funding for two years.
In a news release, the two said such a move would free up more than $3 billion, staving off cuts to education. It would also allow the High-Speed Rail project to be reassessed in light of alternative emerging transportation technologies, the release stated.
AB 3199 would suspend the project's 25 percent share of cap-and-trade revenues for two years and reallocate an existing $2.4 billion that has yet to be spent. The funds would be used to mitigate proposed cuts to K-12 education.
“We need to seriously reevaluate High Speed Rail funding, especially when this state is asking Californians to make real sacrifices,” Fong, R-Bakersfield, said. “If Governor Newsom is threatening cuts to education, healthcare programs, and diverting road funds to address our budget deficit, while at the same time $2.4 billion is sitting in an account for a boondoggle rail project, that is unacceptable.”
The bill requires independent assessment of whether emerging transportation technologies would be better alternatives to the high-speed rail.
"Beyond the unfathomable price tag, the biggest cost of this project is it has shackled our transportation planning to the technology of yesterday," Kiley, R-Rocklin, said. "California's private sector is planning for the future, and it's time for our government to start doing so as well."