California to assist financing of California-Vegas train

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California officials have put a private company's plan to build a high-speed train between Las Vegas and Southern California one step closer to reality.

A state committee chaired by Treasurer Fiona Ma on Wednesday approved $300 million in tax-exempt private activity bonds for the project by Virgin Trains USA. The state will consider approving the same amount again next year.

Officials say that would allow Virgin Trains USA to issue about $2.4 billion worth of debt. That's roughly half of what it would need to build the train.

California's move is the first step to financing the project, which has faced delays and ownership changes.

The company wants trains running by 2023.

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