Trump demands California return $3.5 billion from ‘disaster’ high-speed rail project

Gov. Gavin Newsom pledges to scale back high-speed rail and twin tunnels projects in State of the State speech

Gov. Gavin Newsom pledges to scale back high-speed rail and twin tunnels projects in State of the State speech

"Right now, there simply isn't a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to (Los Angeles)".

"We have to be realistic about the project - that means refocus and reprioritize to get a finished section from Bakersfield to Merced", Melgar said, adding that the governor intends on "completing the bookend projects and finishing the environmental review for the San Francisco to Los Angeles leg".

Newsom didn't describe what form the dividend might take, although he said "we can do something bold in this space". That's a stipulation of federal dollars the state has already received. "The project, as now planned, would cost too much and take too long". But his spokesman Nathan Click said he's not walking away from it.

Alphabet shares gave up some gains in NY trading, while Facebook turned negative, following Newsom's comments. He also appointed Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg to a lead commission on homelessness and chose Linda Darling Hammond to lead the state Board of Education, saying it's time for an "honest conversation" about how California's schools are funded.

On housing, Newsom said he has invited the leaders of 47 cities that haven't kept up with mandated affordable housing goals to meet next week for a "candid conversation".

During his speech, Newsom praised state lawmakers for passing a bill previous year that aims to improve privacy protections for consumers.

"Now, let's talk honestly about clean drinking water", he said before calling it a "moral disgrace" that some Californians still lack access to clean water.

California Governor Gavin Newsom used his first State of the State address Tuesday to drop twin bombshells: He wants to dramatically downsize the $77 billion high-speed rail project and his predecessor's dream of a big pair of tunnels delivering water under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

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Newsom announced that he is cancelling the state's plan on the project during his first State of the State address. The project's cost, originally pegged at $33 billion, ballooned over the last decade to an estimated $77 billion (or maybe as high as $98 billion), with little reason to assume that the cost inflation would end there.

Former California state Assemblyman Chuck Devore appeared on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Wednesday to discuss the fate of the high-speed rail project. It's about economic transformation and unlocking the enormous potential of the Valley.

And he says abandoning that portion of the project would require the state to return $3.5 billion in federal dollars.

In his first State of the State speech since being sworn in as governor last month, Newsom said yesterday that the state should no longer pursue the entire project to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles with a HSR line.

He rebuked President Donald Trump once again on border security, highlighting his decision to withdraw most of the state's National Guard troops from the Southern border.

Earlier this week, Newsom took aim at the Trump administration by reducing a deployment of California National Guard troops.

Newsom has also sparred with the president on health care and wildfire preparedness. It was a chance to lay out his vision for leading the world's fifth largest economy, a state that is home to some one in eight Americans.

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