High-Speed Rail

By David Siders
Published: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 – 7:33 am

The Brown administration, which previously downplayed the significance of court rulings against California’s $68 billion high-speed rail project, asked the California Supreme Court to intervene Friday, saying the rulings “imperil” the project.

The request comes after a Sacramento Superior Court judge in November ordered the state to rescind its original funding plan for the project. The lower court ruled that the California High-Speed Rail Authority failed to comply with provisions of Proposition 1A, the voter-approved 2008 initiative that included initial funding for the project.

In a request for expedited review, state officials said “the trial court’s approach to these issues cripples government’s ability to function.” It said the rulings threaten state and federal funding for high-speed rail and could have implications for other infrastructure projects.

The request, filed late Friday afternoon, comes after state and federal officials assured lawmakers in Washington that the rail project would go forward despite its legal difficulties. Following delays, rail officials plan to start construction in the Central Valley this year.

“We are going to be building high-speed rail in California,” the rail authority board chairman, Dan Richard, said at a hearing earlier this month. “We believe we have the funds in hand.”

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