California lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown have reached agreement on funneling 25% of tax revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade program into constructing the controversial high speed rail project, often referred to as the bullet train.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the proposal will be discussed further in committee on Thursday during budget talks and will be subject to floor votes on Sunday, the constitutional deadline for passage. The cap-and-trade program extracts revenue from companies that exceed state-sanctioned limits on carbon emissions. The use of the funds for the bullet train project has been criticized by environmental groups as a poor use of funds.
The governor argued for as much as 33% of the revenue to be used for his signature project, while state Democratic lawmakers were targeting a much lower percentage.
The Bee reported that cap-and-trade auctions could bring in up to $1 billion in 2014-15. The bullet train project, which will cost the state at least $68 billion, is scheduled to begin funding in 2015-2016.