(Sacramento) - Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) voiced his strong opposition today to Senate Bill 1029, which would appropriate $4.7 Billion from bond sales to fund just 130 miles of new track in the Central Valley. Because California has a junk bond rating, the sale of the bonds will cost California taxpayers $350 million annually for the next 30-years to pay the debt service on the bonds. Should the project ever be fully realized, it will cost between $68-120 billion. Despite Nielsen's objections to SB 1029, the bill passed the Assembly on a 51-27 vote.
"This is not high-speed rail, this is high-cost rail," said Nielsen. "There are so many problems with this project, that it is embarrassing that we are even debating this on the Assembly Floor today. There is no more federal funding for this project. There are zero private investors clamoring to be a part of this project either. All we are doing is spending more money that we don't have to fund a project that will never work. The only thing we will receive from this bill is an annual bill for $350 million over the next 30 years."
The bill now moves to the Senate Floor for a vote, presumably Friday.