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Politics

Judge’s Ruling Doesn’t Appear To Stop California’s High-Speed Rail Plan

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California High-Speed Rail

Rendering of a high-speed rail train. (CA High-Speed Rail Authority)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown said a superior court judge’s ruling that California’s high-speed rail plan has not followed the terms of the voter-approved ballot initiative will not stop its construction.

The Democratic governor told reporters Monday during a Lake Tahoe summit that Judge Michael Kenny’s ruling raises some questions about the $68 billion plan, but “it did not stop anything.”

Brown said the Sacramento Superior Court judge’s decision leaves “a lot of room for interpretation, and I think the outcome will be positive.”

Kenny ruled late Friday that the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s construction plan broke promises made to voters about financing and environmental reviews in Proposition 1A, which voters approved in 2008.

But the judge declined to halt funding and asked lawyers to submit additional briefs regarding a possible remedy.

It was also revealed Monday that the agency in charge of the rail project has signed a nearly $1 billion contract to start work on the first 30 miles of track in the Central Valley.

Dan Richard, chairman of the board that oversees the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said the contract was signed Friday just hours ahead of the judge’s order that cast some doubt on the project.

The board approved the $985 million deal with a consortium led by Sylmar-based Tutor Perini in June. The contract indicates the consortium will design and build the bullet train segment running from Madera to Fresno.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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