Gov. Newsom puts brakes on high-speed rail project

Gov. Newsom puts brakes on high-speed rail project

Gov. Newsom puts brakes on high-speed rail project

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, a democrat, also ordered the removal of most of the National Guard troops deployed at her state's border after her Republican predecessor granted the Trump administration's request previous year, Reuters reported.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said he is scuttling plans to build a high-speed railroad between Los Angeles and San Francisco, saying the ambitious project that was approved by voters is too costly.

Newsom has laid out his vision for California twice already, in his inaugural address and through his first crack at the state budget.

Newsom said he would make sure the contractors who are responsible for building the project are held accountable, especially on the cost front.

The agency charged with building the line has estimated it would cost $77 billion to complete, with a mix of state, federal and private money.

He said during his State of the State speech that he's refocusing on finishing a segment of rail in the Central Valley that's already under construction.

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"Let's be real", Newsom said in his first State of the State address.

"I don't know what the right adjective is without coming off as hyperbolic; the whole thing is ridiculous", Newsom said.

Instead, Newsom said he will focus on completing the high-speed rail link between Merced and Bakersfield, a drive that can take up to three hours.

"There simply isn't a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to Los Angeles", he said, and thus the north and southern sections of the proposed route would not be built. There would also be governance chnages, with Newsom picking his Economic Development Director Lenny Mendonca as the next Chair of the High-Speed Rail Authority.

During the address, he said that while he respects the vision of his predecessors Gov.

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

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Newsom appointed Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg to head his Commission on Homelessness & Supportive Housing.

But his speech will surely go beyond immigration to other disagreements with the White House as well as his own ambitious policy goals for the state.

The governor has invited the leaders of 47 other noncomplying cities to a meeting next week for what he called "a candid conversation". He says he won't preside over "neglect and denial", and says cities must provide their fair share of affordable housing.

Newsom also touched on the issues of homelessness, schools, PG&E's bankruptcy and housing.

He said he has convened a team of the nation's best bankruptcy lawyers and financial experts from the energy sector to work with his administration to develop a strategy to protect the state's power grid, wildfire victims, company employees and ratepayers.

"Abandoning high-speed rail entirely means we will have wasted billions and billions of dollars with nothing but broken promises, partially filled commitments and lawsuits to show for it", Newsom said. "PG&E didn't do enough to secure risky equipment or plan for the future".

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