18 Feb Group Works to Shift Bullet Train Money to Water Storage

Group Works to Shift Bullet Train Money to Water Storage

Posted Thursday, February 18th 2016 @ 6am  by KFBK News – Tim Lantz

The people collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to divert high-speed rail money to water storage projects are not impressed with the newly released 2016 business plan.

The new plan shows the overall cost of the bullet train from the Bay Area to Los Angeles is down from $68 billion to $64 billion.

George Runner is the Vice Chair of the California Board of Equalization, and he supports the proposed Water Not Rail initiative, but notes the coalition behind it is still in the process of getting the required number signatures need to qualify for the ballot.

“We have a budget of about $2 million for signature [gathering], and we are well on our way to that figure,” Runner said.

Runner says despite the reduction in the overall cost of the bullet train project listed in the new business plan, most Californians want more water storage over a faster way to travel from one end of the state to the other.

The California Water Alliance on their website CAWater4All claims the initiative would redirect $10.7 billion in previously authorized high-speed rail and 2014 water bond funds into construction of water-storage projects throughout the state, with no new taxes or any new debt.

A recent poll shows the high-speed rail project approved by voters in 2008 is now the least important state infrastructure priority for voters given 20 different options to rank.

Source: http://www.kogo.com/articles/california-news-489209/group-works-to-shift-bullet-train-14395352