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Lawmakers Grill High-Speed Rail Officials on New Business Plan

California lawmakers held their first hearing on the High-Speed Rail Authority's new business plan Tuesday, and it featured some tense exchanges between a Republican Assemblyman and high-speed rail officials.

Central Valley Assemblyman David Valadao asked if the business plan’s reliance on fifty-five billion dollars in federal funds is realistic. High-Speed Rail board member Dan Richard said the initial operating segment would only cost about thirty to thirty-three billion dollars.

Richard: “Of that, we have three billion in federal funds now. There’s up to nine billion of bond money. So we’re relatively far along.”

Valadao: “When you say nine billion of bond money, that’s only if you get matched from the feds, right?”

Richard: “That’s correct, sir.”

Valadao: “So you only have six billion total.”

Richard: “Right. But what I’m saying is, we don’t need to expect fifty-five billion from the feds.”

Tuesday's hearing came on the same day Kings County sued the High-Speed Rail Authority hoping to stop the project.

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