Assembly Committee Won’t Stop High Speed Rail from Going to Ballot


While I was sitting at the LA County Board of Supervisor’s hearing yesterday, another legislative body voted on another measure that would have robbed voters of the right to decide our transportation future.  LAist reports, via Politicker,  that a Senate bill that would remove Proposition 1, the High Speed Rail Bond Measure, from the ballot was voted down by an Assembly Committee.  The measure was doomed to failure anyway, Governor Schwarzenegger is a convert to the benefits of High Speed Rail, but it did allow the bill’s sponsor, State Senator Roy Ashburn, another turn in the spotlight.  And isn’t that what our tax dollars are for…to allow grandstanding politicians as many chances to promote themselves as possible?

The California High Speed Rail Blog believes that Asburn has deeper motives than just grandstanding:

Ashburn’s 11th hour objections are irresponsible. As a public servant
he ought to have raised these concerns earlier in the year, instead of
holding up the very bill that would address his concerns.

more significantly, Ashburn is using this fear, uncertainty, and doubt
strategy to try and kill the project outright. If he merely wanted an
improved bond measure, he would have spoken up sooner. Instead he’s
using these last-minute objections to block AB 3034 – he already
delayed past the deadline to alter Prop 1 – in hopes that either the
bond will be pulled or the public will turn against a plan he’s labeled
as inadequate.

Much like Metro’s sales tax proposal, High Speed Rail hasn’t cleared all of the steps it needs to appear in the proper form on the ballot.  As mentioned above, AB3034 that provides stronger language and a business plan for the project, needs to be approved by…actually, the stated deadline has already passed.  Let’s just say it needs to be approved soon.

Image: California High Speed Rail Authority

  • If passed this bond includes $995 million for rail connecting services, which just might provide some of the funds for the regional connector in downtown L.A. since the sales taxes has had to shift its emphasis to win over critics (who BTW, still whine even when they win–S*I*G*H).

  • Funding the DRC is a great idea. It will truly enable more people to access HSR.

  • Booyeah! I’ve been waiting for this to come up for a vote since Arnie’s recall election of Gov. Davis canceled the effort to put it on the ballot.

    This is such a good idea, at least from what I’ve seen.

    I’m still not clear on how they get the train downtown in Los Angeles, but I don’t really care. I think they should take out the 5 Freeway and let the HSR cars move in that space.

    Just kidding. Sort of.

  • They’re still studying the exact routing for the line between Palmdale and LA in the “Los Angeles to Palmdale Project EIR/EIS.” From the Statewide Program EIR/EIS, we already know that the line will utilize the Metrolink line along San Fernando Valley Rd. in a trench through the Valley and that the alignment will follow Soldedad Canyon through the mountains and not CA-14. The DEIR/DEIS is due for release later this year.