California Gov. Gavin Newsom Accuses Trump of Fear-Mongering

Gov. Gavin Newsom pledges to scale back high-speed rail and twin tunnels projects in State of the State speech

California governor to rebut Trump in 1st State of State

"I share it. And there's no doubt that our state's economy and quality of life depend on improving transportation".

Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday he is pulling the plug on the state's massive high-speed rail project from Los Angeles to San Francisco that was more than a decade behind schedule and billions in the red.

At the California High-Speed Rail Authority's monthly board meeting, Roy Hill, who heads the project's main consulting firm, said the project has reached a "worst-case scenario" of increases unanticipated by the rail authority, but widely predicted outside the halls of state government, even in a confidential analysis by the Federal Railroad Administration. "The current project, as planned, would cost too much and take too long".

"Right now, there simply isn't a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A. (Los Angeles). I wish there were".

The governor said the state would continue the "regional projects north and south" with the goal of completing the Phase 1 environmental work in addition to establishing new transparency measures that would "hold contractors and consultants accountable to explain how taxpayer dollars are spent".

The cost of building the train, at last estimate, was put at $77 billion and wouldn't be completed until 2033, the Associated Press reported. President Barack Obama's administration did provide $3.5 billion in stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but the project otherwise saw little additional outside financial support.

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California voters approved a $10 billion bond in 2008 largely for the construction of bullet train between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Key among those was his decision to scale back high-speed rail, which Republicans in the state have derided as an expensive boondoggle. The state finally broke ground in 2015 on a 119-mile segment between Madera and Bakersfield, but the project has lost popularity and become a growing political target as it blows through deadlines and budgets.

Newsom also said the state faces "hard decisions that are coming due" on clean water, housing and homelessness.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, a democrat, also ordered the removal of most of the National Guard troops deployed at her state's border after her Republican predecessor granted the Trump administration's request a year ago, Reuters reported. "He described a country where inequality didn't seem to be a problem, where climate change doesn't exist, and where the greatest threat we face comes from families at the border, seeking asylum from violence-stricken countries".

Newsom, though, said there's been a "gray area" in the troops duties that may have allowed some to inadvertently participate in immigration activities, although a Guard official said the state's troops have not helped detain anyone.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he would not participate in the manufactured border crisis and, therefore, pull more than two-thirds of California's National Guard Troops.

But his speech will surely go beyond immigration to other disagreements with the White House as well as his own ambitious policy goals for the state.

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