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Panel Says California Should Hold Off On High-Speed Rail Bonds

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Artist's conception of a California high-speed rail train. (California High-Speed Rail Authority)

Artist’s conception of a California high-speed rail train. (California High-Speed Rail Authority)

SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — An independent panel said California lawmakers should not authorize $2.7 billion in bonds to build the initial section of the state’s high-speed rail system.

In a report issued Tuesday, the California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group said the current plan is not financially feasible.

In November, the California High-Speed Rail Authority approved a plan that requests $2.7 billion in state bonds to match $3.5 billion in federal money. It would be used to build 130 miles of track between Chowchilla and Bakersfield.

The report criticized the authority for failing to identify long-term funding and having inadequate staff to manage a large construction project. The authority responded by calling the report “deeply flawed.”

The cost has more than doubled to $98 billion since voters approved $9 billion in bonds in 2008.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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