Skip to comments.Legal traps could stop California's high-speed rail project
Posted on 12/12/2011 8:17:08 AM PST by SmithL
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has an obvious financial problem as it seeks to build a statewide bullet train system.
Its latest "business plan" says that it would cost nearly $100 billion to build the backbone of the system, but so far it has only $9 billion in state bonds and a little more than $3 billion in federal money.
The CHSRA also has a political problem.
The Legislature, which first proposed the bullet train bond to voters, is turning sour on its prospects, which means that it may not give the agency any more bond money to spend.
Meanwhile, the latest Field Poll says that voters are now strongly inclined to derail the bullet train.
Finally, the CHSRA has a knotty legal problem.
To make the project more palatable to voters, the Legislature included restrictions and guarantees in the 2008 bond ballot measure, such as a ban on operating subsidies and requirements that financing be lined up and environmental clearances obtained before construction begins.
The ballot measure's fine print is now fodder for lawsuits and criticism from the Legislature's budget analyst.
As laid out in the business plan, the analyst says the project especially construction of a 130-mile test segment in the San Joaquin Valley may be illegal.
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...
Derail Moonbeams’ trolley!
Soooooo....how’s this $100 billion reign in spending, balance the budget and help stop capital flight from the state?
Moonbeams trolley! Moonbeams trolley! Moonbeams trolley! Best name yet!
As I read it, the ballot measure was written to make it difficult to start a half-assed project that was guaranteed to go over budget and require a permanent subsidy to run. But it seems like that is the only type of project the California government is capable of building, so they complain about the restrictions.
High Speed Rail - The billion dollar solution to the ten dollar problem.
While they play bullet train the rest of the roads and bridges are in need of repair or upgrading. What the hell, it’s California, the land of insane nitwits.
Wait until the tree huggers step into the game,or will they let it slide so Ca. can receive fed money?.
California....proving once again that Rick Scott is right.
Those provision were written into the ballot measure to ensure the train would be built and run without any cost to the taxpayer. But since the CHSRA’s “business plan” has neither a usable route segment nor a stable funding source, the project can’t break ground. Ditto for the required environmental reviews. Those things could tie up the project in the courts for years, making it unlikely it could ever be built on time and on budget.
Time to kill it!
I hope this kills it. It’s always been a really dumb idea that a broke state can’t afford.
“While they play bullet train the rest of the roads and bridges are in need of repair or upgrading. What the hell, its California, the land of insane nitwits.”
I don’t know where the money is coming from, but California is on a road repair program the likes of which I have never seen in my 71 years here. My guess is that it’s stimulus money because they are going overboard “fixing things” that don’t even need fixing. All of the “handicapped curbs” on the on and off ramps were removed and replaced just so they could put in “depressions” for the yellow bumpy stuff that’s place there for all those blind folks who are trying to cross the ramps. And they have lined both sides of our local Interstate with “snow fencing” to make sure that the “construction debris” doesn’t migrate. Finally, it’s a boon to the CHP. Now they get to sit in their running Crown Vic’s with the roof lights on all night and get paid for it!