The latest batch of articles are based on a Nov. 25 decision by Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny. The judge ordered the California HSR Authority to revise a 2011 funding plan before it issues state bonds under Prop. 1A, the 2008 measure that set California’s HSR project going. The ruling also green-lighted work on the Central Valley portion of the project.
What does that really mean?
“All you have to do is front-load the federal money. Spend the $3.4 billion from the Feds,” explained Rod Diridon, Executive Director of the Mineta Transportation Institute and Chair Emeritus of the California HSR Authority board, referring to stimulus spending that’s available from Washington. “Then you spend the state part later.”
Plaintiffs include John Tos and Aaron Fukuda, Central Valley landowners in the way of the tracks. It’s one of many suits pending. The Authority tried an omnibus lawsuit, where it essentially sued itself as a defense against the many different legal actions lining up to stop the bonds. Judge Kenny didn’t go for it. “All the judge said is the Authority can’t have blanket validation of the bonds,” said Diridon.
There was a third “key setback,” as the Los Angeles Times describes them. On Dec. 5, the Surface Transportation Board of the US Department of Transportation rejected an application from the California HSR Authority to expedite review of the entire 114 mile Central Valley portion of the project. Read more…