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Judge Blocks Sale of Calif. High-Speed Rail Bonds

CA High-Speed Rail Authority photo

An artist's drawing of a California high-speed rail train.

CA High-Speed Rail Authority photo

In rulings issued Monday, Judge Michael Kenny rejected a request from the California High-Speed Rail Authority to sell $8 billion of the $10 billion in bonds approved by voters in 2008. He says state officials were wrong to determine it was "necessary and desirable" to start selling the bonds.

In a separate lawsuit, he ordered the rail authority to redo its $68 billion funding plan before continuing construction, a process that could take months or years.

The lawsuit claimed that the project's current plan no longer complies with what voters were promised, and the judge agreed.

In a statement California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors Chairman Dan Richard said the decisions are being reviewed and stressed the rulings do not stop the project from moving forward.

"Additionally, the judge did not invalidate the bonds as approved by the voters in Proposition 1A," he said. "Like all transformative projects, we understand that there will be many challenges that will be addressed as we go forward in building the nation’s first high-speed rail system.”
Jon Coupal is with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which opposes the project. He welcomed the court rulings.

“This has been a disastrous day for the High Speed Rail Authority," he said. "But it’s been a great day for taxpayers.” 

Coupal said the Rail Authority has not been not transparent about the project


The Associate Press contributed to this article. 

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