On February 22, 2019, Fred Wagner was quoted in Law360 about the scuttling of California's $77 billion high-speed rail line connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles and the Trump administration's move to pull federal grants allocated for the project. According to the article, this has set the stage for contentious legal wrangling over any potential breaches of contract.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) threatened to cancel a $929 million federal grant set aside for the project and "explore every legal option" to claw back $2.5 billion in stimulus funds that were already doled out for the endeavor and spent by the state.
"California has to realize that — given the public posture and the amount of money that's at issue — every cent of that $929 million certainly can't be expected to be spent given the announcement," Wagner said. "There is going to be a negotiation between the state and U.S. DOT about how best to handle those funds. And because California is such a large recipient of grant and formula monies in every program at U.S. DOT, there's a lot of creativity and latitude there between the parties to figure out how best to resolve it."