OC Lawmaker: Cut Funding For ‘Lemon’ High-Speed Rail, Beef Up Amtrak Gap

SAN CLEMENTE (CBS) — An Orange County lawmaker is proposing legislation that would end California’s multi-billion dollar dream of high-speed railway.

KNX 1070’s Brian Ping reports Republican State Assemblywoman Diane Harkey is calling to cut funding for the  project.

“Increasingly, voters believe they bought a lemon,” said Harkey.

After only a slight majority of voters — only 52 percent — approved the original bond in 2008, statewide polls show a clear majority of Californians want to pull the plug, Harkey said.

The Dana Point lawmaker estimated costs for the first phase of the railway to top $100 billion.

“I’m very fearful that this plan will become a reality, extremely fearful,” said Harkey. “It will double our state’s debt, it will make us a third-world nation.”

Californians would be better served by using the rail money to fill a long-existing Amtrak gap between Los Angeles and the Central Valley, Harkey added.

The California High Speed Rail Authority Tuesday announced a decision to abandon plans to build through the Grapevine, and opt instead for a longer yet more populated route through the Antelope Valley.

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