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‘Panel says lawmakers should hold off on high speed rail bonds

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POSTED January 3, 2012 5:32 p.m.

SACRAMENTO  (AP) — An independent panel says California lawmakers should not authorize $2.7 billion in bonds to build the initial section of the state's high-speed rail system.
In a report issued Tuesday, the California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group said the current plan is not financially feasible.
In November, the California High-Speed Rail Authority approved a plan that requests $2.7 billion in state bonds to match $3.5 billion in federal money. It would be used to build 130 miles of track between Chowchilla and Bakersfield.
The report criticized the authority for failing to identify long-term funding and having inadequate staff to manage a large construction project. The authority responded by calling the report "deeply flawed."
The cost has more than doubled to $98 billion since voters approved $9 billion in bonds in 2008.


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