Put California bullet train audit on the fast track – Orange County Register

California’s high speed rail project is an embodiment of virtually everything wrong with state government.

Already $1.7 billion over budget and seven years behind schedule on the Central Valley portion alone, the bullet train reeks of cronyism, inefficient central planning, misplaced priorities and squandering of finite resources. Yet, it persists, despite obvious problems.

On Nov. 14, Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, requested an emergency audit of the bullet train. The request came as high speed rail authorities reported that environmental reviews of the 800-mile project won’t be completed until at least 2020, two years later than planned.

Against a backdrop of significant delays and escalating costs, Patterson’s request sought to answer some fundamental questions about the project. Among the questions raised by Patterson: “What are the Authority’s demonstrable policies, practices, and personnel to generate reliable budget estimates for ongoing construction contracts?”

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