California high speed rail plan scaled back

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

"I share it. And there's no doubt that our state's economy and quality of life depend on improving transportation".

Ocasio-Cortez called for the high-speed rail network in her 'Green New Deal, ' an ambitious environmental, social and economic master-plan to transform the U.S.

During his State of the State address, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Tuesday said his administration is putting a halt to the highly anticipated high-speed rail that would travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Newsom added that while California has "the capacity to complete a high-speed rail link between Merced and Bakersfield", "there simply isn't a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A".

Newsom said the project would cost too much and take too long.

The cost of building the train, at last estimate, was put at $77 billion and wouldn't be completed until 2033, the Associated Press reported. "I wish there were", he said. "There's been too little oversight and not enough transparency".

Newsom has laid out his vision for California twice already, in his inaugural address and through his first crack at the state budget. He declined to discuss what he saw as the train's future on the campaign trail, but after he was elected he suggested some sort of cutback was coming, possibly eliminating the bottom half of the project, making it a train from San Francisco to the Central Valley of California.

He's also replacing Brown's head of the state board that oversees the project and pledged more accountability for contractors that run over on costs.

According to the audit, the state risked having to pay back as much as $3.5 billion in federal funds.

FILE PHOTO: California Governor Jerry Brown delivers his final state of the state address in Sacramento, California, U.S., January 25, 2018.

He also announced that former California first lady Maria Shriver would lead a new Alzheimer's Prevention and Preparedness Task Force. Key among those was his decision to scale back high-speed rail, which Republicans in the state have derided as an expensive boondoggle.

"Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate, it is cruel", Trump said at the State of the Union, linking immigration to violent crime and other serious problems.

Brown had agreed to deploy troops at the Trump administration's request a year ago, although he said they couldn't participate in immigration enforcement.

The speech came a day after Newsom defied Trump by ordering that several hundred National Guard troops withdraw from California's border with Mexico, days after Trump announced that he had ordered 3,750 troops to the country's southern border to prepare for a "tremendous onslaught" of immigrants seeking to enter the country.

Newsom, though, said there's been a "gray area" in the troops' duties that may have allowed some to inadvertently participate in immigration activities.

Newsom disputed Trump's claim there is a crisis on the border and said any need for National Guard troops was eliminated when Trump decided earlier this month to add 3,750 more US troops at the border.

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