Calif. lawmakers to review high-speed rail plans

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High speed rail

(AP Photo)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State senators are getting an update on California’s plan to start construction on a $68 billion bullet train, including assessing whether the agency overseeing the project has fixed a host of organizational problems.

The Senate Transportation Committee describes the focus of its hearing Tuesday as safeguarding the public’s interest.

The nation’s first high-speed rail project faces intense criticism and a series of major lawsuits, but has the strong support of Gov. Jerry Brown and most Democratic lawmakers.

Officials are preparing to award the construction contract and start digging this summer. The first link will be in the Central Valley, from Madera to Bakersfield.

Among those expected to testify are the independent legislative analyst’s office and the state auditor, who previously criticized the rail authority for a series of organizational failures.

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