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New Ruling Should Send Billions Flowing to the Bullet Train

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This year might be remembered as the one where the California high-speed rail system climbed back from the dead. First, the governor's approved plan to use cap-and-trade funds provides a steady stream of money toward the $68 billion LA to SF project, then yesterday, a state appellate court overthrew a lower court decision that threatened the entire endeavor, the LA Times reports. A panel of three judges unanimously tossed last year's ruling by Superior Court judge Michael Kenny that said the bullet train doesn't comply with promises of the 2008 ballot initiative that greenlit the sale of billions in bonds to fund construction.

Kenny's decision—which claimed the state needed to identify funding sources and get environmental clearances before work could start—froze $8.6 billion in bonds and threatened matching federal funds; while the fed money issue was cleared up with the cap-and-trade funds, the unavailable state bonds remained a big blow to the high-speed rail. Now, that money should be coming back to the project, which hopes to break ground this year in the Central Valley with work in LA County happening not long after.
· California bullet train project scores major court victory [LA Times]
· High-Speed Rail Archives [Curbed LA]