Plaintiffs trying to derail the state’s bullet train recently won a court case by arguing that rail officials were violating the terms of the ballot measure voters approved. HSR had to identify all its funding for a segment before building it, they argued. A judge agreed.
The idea of the original ballot language was to win votes by ensuring the system would not be run out of money before a self-sustaining segment was operational.
The first segment, Merced to the San Fernando Valley, will cost $31 million. But HSR officials have only identified about $12 billion in funding.
Now HSR officials have come up with a strategy to press on despite the court ruling: They now argue the building restrictions apply only to state money, not Uncle Sam’s share.
Under the original terms of the funding deal, the state had to match the federal grant money. “But the Obama administration, which strongly supports the project, agreed last December that the state could use all of the federal grants before putting in matching state funds,” the L.A. Times reports.
Looks like the bullet train might advance under enemy fire.