Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), a member of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, issued the following statement today after a joint Senate committee hearing on the updated high-speed rail business plan:
“Today’s hearing missed an opportunity to confront the many serious challenges facing the high-speed rail project. For example, the funding plan to complete the first phase of the project is still incomplete, with a funding gap of about $43.5 billion. I was not reassured that there would be sufficient ridership and revenue to make the math work without a taxpayer bailout.
“The project also assumes cap-and-trade revenues will continue beyond 2020 even though there is no legal authority for those revenues to be spent beyond that date. How this will be resolved is still undetermined. Given the ever changing nature of the project and the many unanswered questions regarding federal and private sector funding, it seems clear that we are heading towards a financial train wreck.
“Given the many unresolved questions, the voters should be given an opportunity to weigh in again on high-speed rail before it’s too late.”