California governor moves to ease homelessness

Clay Curtis
February 13, 2019

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is preparing to deliver his first State of the State address a day after declaring he wouldn't participate in the Trump administration's "political theater" over border security.

He said Monday he'll withdraw most of California's 360 National Guard troops on the Mexico border in a rebuke to Trump.

"This is our answer to the White House: No more division, no more xenophobia and no more nativism", Newsom said in a wide-ranging speech.

The State of the State will also give Newsom a chance to outline his vision for California.

But the only time the governor mentioned Trump's name was to praise him. I share it. There's no doubt that our state's economy and quality of life depend on improving transportation.

Governor Gavin Newsom dropped a bombshell early in his State of the State address Tuesday, announcing that California would abandon the state's plan for a high-speed rail connection between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Former Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's plan would have cost almost $77 billion and taken more than a decade to complete, according to recent estimates. The project's price tag at one point hit $99 billion.

"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.

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"I know that some critics will say this is a 'train to nowhere, ' but that's wrong and offensive".

"The governor tried to have it both ways - he admitted it has been a failure, but he committed to keep spending billions on the failed project by changing the project to just a Central Valley commuter train from Merced to Bakersfield", said Sen.

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.

But other Republicans scorned the governor for trying to have it both ways. Jerry Brown, after construction costs doubled initial projections, private investment never materialized and public opinion on the project turned sour. Jeff Stone said in a statement.

Gallagher's Northern California district includes the town of Paradise, destroyed by a wildfire late past year that killed 85 people. The Green New Deal, pushed by lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), heavily leans on the idea that high-speed rail could be used to link cities and ultimately reduce the use of air travel.

At the California High-Speed Rail Authority's monthly board meeting, Roy Hill, who heads the project's main consulting firm, said the project has reached a "worst-case scenario" of increases unanticipated by the rail authority, but widely predicted outside the halls of state government, even in a confidential analysis by the Federal Railroad Administration. "Our collective effort must be to cross the finish line on real agreements to save the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta".

Newsom said contractors and consultants would be held more accountable in the future, with details of expenditure to go online. "Yes, we have much left to do, but I believe in the remarkable talent assembled here, and I believe in our state".

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