INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday that California's high-speed rail project will not be stopped by a judge's ruling that project officials failed to comply with provisions of Proposition 1A, the initiative in which voters approved initial funding for the project in 2008.
"It's not a setback," Brown told reporters at the Lake Tahoe Summit.
He said the ruling "didn't stop our spending, so we're continuing. As we speak we're spending money, we're moving ahead."
In a decision Friday, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny said the California High-Speed Rail Authority abused its discretion when it approved a funding plan in 2011 that failed to identify adequate sources of funding for the rail project.
Kenny did not halt construction of the project, and the effect of the ruling is unclear. The decision concerned a 2011 funding plan - which was revised by the rail authority last year - and the judge asked for more information from both proponents and opponents of the project before taking up the matter again.
Brown said the ruling "didn't stop anything ... It raises some questions, and I think they'll be answered within that judge's framework."
The Democratic governor has made building a high-speed rail system a priority of his administration. Rail officials expect to begin construction on the $68 billion system in the Central Valley this year.
"We have to take bold steps," Brown said. "I think we're well on our way. If you read that decision carefully, there's a lot of room for interpretation, and I think the outcome will be positive."
PHOTO CREDIT: California Gov. Jerry Brown, left, speaks with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval at the Lake Tahoe Summit in Incline Village, Nev., on Monday, Aug. 19, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders