Calif. high-speed rail lacks detailed finance plan

SACRAMENTO — The state auditor says plans to build California's high-speed rail system are missing a key element ‚Äî how the money to build it will be raised.

State Auditor Elaine Howle says the High Speed Rail Authority has just $2.2 billion of the $17 billion to $19 billion in federal money it says it needs.

Meanwhile, the authority intends to spend $12 billion in federal and state money over the next three years. That's more than 2½ times the money it has available.

The audit released Thursday also found the authority isn't properly tracking the money it spends on administrative expenses and failed to document whether $4 million in contract work had been done.

In 2008, voters approved $9 billion to help pay for the system.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.