California Governor Newsom pulls plug on LA-SF high-speed train

Gavin Newsom

Rich Pedroncelli Associated Press

The rail project, which was meant to connect the northern and southern parts of the state, will now connect Bakersfield and Merced in the San Joaquin Valley breadbasket, filling a glaring gap in the state system and keeping Newsom's campaign promise to help that often overlooked part of California.

California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom speaks after being elected governor of the state during an election night party in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 6, 2018. The $77 billion high-speed rail line was first approved by voters in 2008, when the projected cost was $33 billion.

Former California governor, Jerry Brown, agreed to the deployment of 400 National Guard troops back in April at the Trump administration's request. That's a stipulation of federal dollars the state has already received.

During his State of the State address, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Tuesday said his administration is putting a halt to the highly anticipated high-speed rail that would travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Newsom said he would make sure the contractors who are responsible for building the project are held accountable, especially on the cost front.

Newsom said high speed rail was about "economic transformation" of the Central Valley, and 'we can align our economic and workforce development strategies, anchored by High-Speed Rail, and pair them with tools like opportunity zones, to form the backbone of a reinvigorated Central Valley economy'.

"I know the valley".

'He described a country where inequality didn't seem to be a problem, where climate change didn't exist, and where the greatest threat we face comes from families seeking asylum at the border, ' Newsom continued.

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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.

Newsom said he had convened a strike force of lawyers to help the state advocate for fire victims and consumers as the giant utility PG&E Corp goes through bankruptcy proceedings.

Newsom disputed Trump's claim there is a crisis on the border and said any need for National Guard troops was eliminated when Trump decided earlier this month to add 3,750 more USA troops at the border.

He announced the creation of the new Commission on Homelessness & Supportive Housing to address what he said is a moral issue that has become a public health crisis.

Newsom's administration recently sued Huntington Beach for failing to reach housing goals and says he'll meet with other city leaders next week.

"This is our answer to the White House: No more division, no more xenophobia and no more nativism", Newsom said in a wide-ranging speech.

"I don't intend to file suit against all 47, but I'm not going to preside over neglect and denial", he said during his address.

"We've been sucked into this vortex of the absurd", Newsom told reporters Monday. "We are not interested in participating in this political theater", Newsom said at a press conference.

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