California sold $600 Million in Bonds for its High-Speed Rail Project
In late March, California sold $600 million in bonds to help pay for the high-speed rail project. Unfortunately, a key source of funding for the project is actually bond money. In 2008, voters approved $10 billion in bonds and the state routinely sells them. However, the project is estimated to cost $77 billion due to overruns and delays, which is far more than was estimated in 2008. Senator Jim Beall stated the following on March 26 regarding to bond sale,
Today’s funding announcement is a continued sign of progress to keep our transformative high-speed rail initiative moving forward in California.
According to state Treasurer Fiona Ma, the $600 million in bonds was purchased by Wells Fargo and Jefferies, LLC. The high-speed rail project receives money from the federal government and the state’s cap and trade program, which raises money through credits to emit carbon. According to the Associated Press, it appears that the state would still need at least $50 billion more to meet the funding plan. Senators have expressed their concern that the high-speed rail authority hasn’t been spending money or building as fast as it needs to ahead of 2022 deadlines. We will have to wait and see if more funding will become available to complete the high-speed rail project.