Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) today issued the following statement regarding the passage of SB 1029, which allows the sale of state bonds to support the construction of high speed rail in California:
“As an engineer, I am fascinated by the possibility of high speed rail in California. I appreciate the California High Speed Rail Authority adapting the business plan to a blended approach that uses existing resources to connect high speed rail with local transit. California has traditionally been at the cutting edge and this project would redefine regional travel in this state. Unfortunately, because of our current fiscal crisis, we cannot afford to undertake this project at this time. Not only is the debt service a strain on the general fund, but the plan for future financing of the project relies too heavily on federal funding that has not yet been offered.
“Just last week, a budget was passed that dismantled Healthy Families and weakened health care services to children to save a fraction of what we will be spending in debt service on these bonds each year. We are facing the possibility of billions in trigger cuts that will shorten our school year and put an even greater strain on our university system that we have relied on to keep California at the cutting edge. I don’t see how spending billions on a train right now is appropriate in light of cuts to programs that help the state’s most vulnerable citizens.”