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Assemblyman Vince Fong calls to reevaluate funding for High Speed Rail


June 6, 2020

Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Kern County), Vice Chair of the Assembly Committee on Transportation, released a video of his closing statements during the recent Committee on Transportation oversight hearing for the California High-Speed Rail (HSR) Authority’s 2020 Business Plan.

The Business Plan proposes to use all remaining HSR funds (approximately $5 billion) to build a HSR line between Merced and Bakersfield. The total cost of this 171 mile segment from Merced to Bakersfield is projected to cost $20.4 billion. The HSR project was originally sold to voters in 2008 as a San Francisco to Los Angeles line that would be completed by 2020.

“We need to seriously reevaluate this project, especially when this state is asking Californians to sacrifice,” said Assemblyman Fong. “If we’re going to ask schools to get funding reductions, if we’re going to ask healthcare programs to get cut, if we’re shifting $130 million out of the State Highway Fund, and at the same time $2.4 billion is sitting in an account for this project and this project will not see any reevaluation, in my opinion that’s not right.”

Brian P. Kelly, executive director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, testified in front of the Committee to present the project’s draft business plan. Assemblyman Fong challenged Kelly on the project’s unexpected and rising costs that are putting taxpayers at risk.

The full hearing can be accessed at the following link:

Assemblyman Vince Fong represents the 34th Assembly district encompassing the majority of Kern County and includes the communities of Bakersfield, Bear Valley Springs, China Lake, Frazier Park, Golden Hills, Inyokern, Lebec, Oildale, Ridgecrest, Taft and Tehachapi. Assemblyman Fong serves as the Chief Republican Whip.


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