SACRAMENTO - Sen. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, criticized Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's demand that the California Legislature abandon its review of the $75 billion high-speed rail project and immediately borrow at least $2.6 billion in funding:
"It is obvious that Obama Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood doesn't understand what is truly at stake in California. This state is facing $14 billion deficit, our students have seen their tuition double, and he wants California to invest in a high speed rail scheme that has a $61 billion shortfall without reviewing the plan's risks?" LaMalfa said Thursday. "Secretary LaHood's demand boils down to a belief that Washington, D.C. knows best, a point of view I couldn't disagree with more strongly."
California's High Speed Rail Authority is now pushing its fifth plan in barely four years, one which is both dramatically smaller and costlier than the project promised to voters in 2008. The project now excludes San Diego and Sacramento and at $75 billion costs more than twice what the Authority told voters. LaMalfa has authored Senate Bill 985 to place the project back on the ballot, a proposal the Field Poll found two-thirds of Californians support.
"The two-thirds of Californians who want a vote on the project carry a lot more weight with me than a Washington, D.C. bureaucrat who isn't worried about how California will fund schools and public safety," added LaMalfa. "It's as if he's unaware of the fact that California can't simply print money in the way the Obama Administration has."
Senator Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing the fourth Senate District in the California Legislature, including Shasta, Tehama, Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Siskiyou, Sutter, Del Norte, Placer, Trinity, Yuba and Nevada counties.
He is running for the Republican nomination to the newly formed District 1 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.