A key financial deadline is looming for California's $68-billion high-speed-rail project. The California High-Speed Rail Authority is due to make a $63-million matching payment on April 1. But a 2013 Superior Court ruling has blocked the state, at least for now, from using its preferred source: selling bonds that voters approved in 2008's Proposition 1A. The state and federal government are sharing the project's cost.
On Capitol Hill, House railroads subcommittee Chairman Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) introduced a bill on Jan. 16 that would suspend federal funds for the program until the state certifies it has non-federal sources for the matching funds. Denham said at a Jan. 15 hearing, "Frankly, after five years filled with cost overruns, lawsuits, lost promises of immediate job creation and reduced expectations, unless they can come up with a viable plan that meets the requirements of Prop 1A, I believe it's time to end this project."