A state appellate court on Thursday overturned two lower court rulings that had stalled funding for California's $68 billion bullet train, handing a big win to Gov. Jerry Brown's signature project and allowing the state to resume selling bonds to pay for it.
The court overturned rulings by Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny last year in which he said the high-speed rail project no longer complies with the promises made to voters in 2008 when they approved selling nearly $10 billion in bonds. In siding with Kings County and Central Valley landowners, Kenny invalidated the sale of $8.6 billion in state bonds and ordered the California High-Speed Rail Authority to write a new funding plan.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs had argued that the state failed to identify all the funding for the first full segment of the rail line in the Central Valley, a cost of about $26 billion, and instead had found just $6 billion to pay for construction. They also argued the state did not have all the necessary environmental clearances as voters were promised.