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The Latest: California governor blasts revoking of rail cash

May 16, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on California’s high-speed rail project (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

Gov. Gavin Newsom says the Trump administration’s move to revoke nearly $1 billion for California’s high-speed rail project is “illegal” and “a direct assault” on the state.

He said Thursday that California will defend its right to the money in court.

The Federal Railroad Administration said it’s cancelling the money because California has not made progress and has strayed from the project’s original vision.

The feud over the money began after Newsom suggested in February that the state should focus first on building a line in the Central Valley.

His office says he’s still committed to the full line between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

He says the move is an effort by President Donald Trump to exact political retribution on the state.

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1 p.m.

The Trump administration is canceling nearly $1 billion in federal money for California’s high-speed rail project.

The Federal Railroad Administration announced Thursday it will not give California the money, saying the state failed to comply with the terms of its grant and has abandoned the original vision for a train between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The administration is may still try to force California to return another $2.5 billion.

The money is critical to the project and could kill it.

State officials overseeing the project and spokespeople for Gov. Gavin Newsom did not immediately comment.

Newsom’s comments in February that there was not a path to finishing the project as planned prompted federal officials to threaten the funding. Newsom says he’s still committed to the full line.

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The story has been updated to clarify the administration may try to force California to return another $2.5 billion. It has not made a definitive decision.

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