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Feinstein Urges Brown To Fold High-Speed Rail Authority

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – California Senator Dianne Feinstein is urging Governor Jerry Brown to roll the High-Speed Rail Authority under a state agency like the California Department of Transportation.

Last week, a state peer review group refused to release bond money for the project because of concerns for financial risk.

"There doesn't appear to be any dollars out there to get this program to a point where it can really take off," said former Caltrans head Will Kempton, who now chairs the review group.

KCBS' Holly Quan Reports:

The money was supposed to be matched by $3.5 billion in federal money, which has Senator Feinstein concerned. As a longtime proponent of high speed rail, she doesn't want to see that money lost.

Feinstein sent a letter to Governor Brown urging him to roll the Authority in under a state agency like Caltrans, whose expertise and resources could help put funding back on track.

Rail Authority Chair Tom Umberg said he supports a reorganization if it offers additional support.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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