Sanity: California lawmaker submits a plan to put high-speed rail back on the ballot

posted at 9:01 pm on January 13, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown released his headdesk-worthy budgetary plans for divvying up the first round of a planned state budget surplus, largely borne of the temporary tax hike voters elected to add via the ballot measure Proposition 30 in 2012: Namely, to use the ‘extra’ $4.2 billion in revenue to practically gloss over the state’s hundreds of billions in debt while growing their general-fund spending by more than eight percent. Part of that esteemed plan includes a provision to redirect some funds away from California’s cap-and-trade fund and into the high-speed rail boondoggle that Brown insists upon wearing as a political albatross around his neck — and only he knows why.

Fortunately, that little maneuver might be a bridge too far for some of California’s lawmakers, via the AP:

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to redirect $250 million from California’s landmark effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and spend it instead on his beleaguered bullet train has renewed debate about the future of the contentious project.

In defending that part of the budget proposal he released this week, Brown pitched the $68 billion rail line as the perfect way to unite a fractured state and help California “pull together to form a greater community.”

His proposal does appear to be uniting many lawmakers and interest groups, but perhaps not in the way the governor intended. Some Democrats who have supported high-speed rail have joined their Republican colleagues in rejecting Brown’s funding idea, and environmental groups are lukewarm at best on it.

The Democrats are mostly upset about the additional high-speed rail funding only because they don’t want that money to be diverted from their greenhouse-gas goals, but one Republican lawmaker is making another bid to get the high-speed rail project put back on a ballot and put in front of voters, and perhaps that’s what it will take to garner some bipartisan support to finally call it quits while they’re still ahead. SacBee reports:

For the second time in less than two years, a California lawmaker has filed proposed ballot language to put the brakes on California’s high-speed rail project.

Assemblyman Jeff Gorell submitted paperwork Friday to qualify the Stop the $100 Billion High Speed Rail and Reinvest in Education Act. The proposed November ballot measure is largely identical to the Stop the $100 Billion Bullet Train to Nowhere Act submitted by then-state Sen. Doug La Malfa and former Rep. George Radanovich in March 2012, which failed to qualify.

The high-speed rail opponents will need to gather just over 500,000 valid voter signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot, but the tide could be turning against the project; a poll in September found that a majority of Californians have seen just about all they need to see and are ready to scrap the high-speed mess for which they once voted.


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Sanity: California lawmaker submits a plan to put high-speed rail back on the ballot

This is CA we are talking about. 69/31 pass.

nobar on January 13, 2014 at 9:13 PM

sanity…california?

nah

workingclass artist on January 13, 2014 at 9:16 PM

The only thing “high speed” is debt…

Electrongod on January 13, 2014 at 9:16 PM

That’s an odd political maneuver… Why would Brown cede his green base credentials for a train boondoggle that’s bound to lose?

Oooh… I smell money and kickbacks…

Skywise on January 13, 2014 at 9:19 PM

ForWard

Yes We Can!
(sarc)

canopfor on January 13, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown released his headdesk-worthy budgetary plans for divvying up the first round of a planned state budget surplus,
==============================

Which for some reason, US Taxed Looted Dollar are morphing
into a Utopian Rail System!!

canopfor on January 13, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Call it the John Galt Line.

/

Murphy9 on January 13, 2014 at 9:25 PM

A civic mulligan?

I’d bet CA votes for it again.

aquaviva on January 13, 2014 at 9:27 PM

Hack Judge “Prop 8″ Ross has already threatened to declare inconvenient elections un-Constitutional.

viking01 on January 13, 2014 at 9:28 PM

When you read about how much it will cost and how long it will take how can anybody think this is a good idea…?
First of all if the Big Dig in Boston is used in comparison then the actual costs will be 8 times as much and then the project will take decades to complete and for what…?

They already have high speed travel and it can be found at the airport.

NeoKong on January 13, 2014 at 9:28 PM

Assemblyman Jeff Gorell submitted paperwork Friday to qualify the Stop the $100 Billion High Speed Rail and Reinvest in Education Act.

That’s smart. Republicans should run on hard populism in CA and squeeze every dime they can from the Democrat-supporting tech and media industrial-complex.

Divert all their $$$ pet projects to vote buying Democrat-leaning constituencies who really do not care about “green issues”. Rob David Geffen to pay Diego Gonzalez, I say! Anything to turn California RED, RED, RED!

Punchenko on January 13, 2014 at 9:29 PM

…what party do these “lawmakers” belong to?

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Call it the John Galt Line.

/

Murphy9 on January 13, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Murphy9:Good one, I was thinking of Atlas Shrugs Movie on this
one as well!:)

canopfor on January 13, 2014 at 9:36 PM

In 2008 the high-speed rail initiative passed by just a 5-point margin: 52.5%-47.5%. With six years of delays, costs skyrocketing, and other problems under our belts a revote would probably result in Californians calling a halt to the project.

aunursa on January 13, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Lawmaker seeks to halt bond sales for California high-speed rail

By Jim Christie

SAN FRANCISCO Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:07pm EST

(Reuters) -

A Republican California lawmaker proposed on Friday to put a measure before voters to stop bond sales

for the state’s planned high-speed rail system, in the latest bid by critics

to derail the ambitious project.(More…)
===========================================

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/11/us-california-highspeedrail-idUSBREA0A03B20140111

canopfor on January 13, 2014 at 9:41 PM

How much money has already been wasted on this project?

Flange on January 13, 2014 at 9:42 PM

That’s an odd political maneuver… Why would Brown cede his green base credentials for a train boondoggle that’s bound to lose?

Oooh… I smell money and kickbacks…

Skywise on January 13, 2014 at 9:19 PM

“Greens” love “light rail”. They think that since most such are either electric or turbine-driven, they are “environmentally benign”. In fact, they aren’t.

Also, Greens hate cars with the same passion they expend on nuclear power. Cars offend them not just because they use fossil fuel, but because they allow people freedom of movement by their own choice. They want to tell you where, and when, or even if you can travel. (Ideally, where you are allowed to live, too. Or even if you are allowed to exist.)

Also, on a train they can have you monitored by security cameras to make sure you’re reading something properly uplifting like the Utne Reader as opposed to, say, the Weekly Standard.

As a bonus, train right-of-ways= taking private land for public use (often by eminent domain, i.e. without actually paying for it), and banning it from being “developed” by private citizens. Greens hate private property, and love command and control, especially when it plays to their prejudices.

Greens are scientific ignoramuses who are obsessed with “control” of humans and “obedience” to their delusions.

They see trains as giving them both. So Moonbeam is actually playing to their prejudices in pushing his choo-choo.

To his Green allies, it’s all good.

clear ether

eon

eon on January 13, 2014 at 9:44 PM

We go back, around two years ago!
———————————

Calif. lawmakers OK billions for 1st U.S. high-speed rail line
Updated 7/6/2012 8:42 PM
*************************

SACRAMENTO, California (AP) – California lawmakers approved billions of dollars Friday in construction financing for the initial segment of what would be the nation’s first dedicated high-speed rail line connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The state Senate voted 21-16 on a party-line vote after intense lobbying by Gov. Jerry Brown, Democratic leaders and labor groups.

The bill authorizes the state to begin selling $4.5 billion in voter-approved bonds that includes $2.6 billion to build an initial 130-mile (210-kilometer) stretch of the high-speed rail line in the Central Valley. That will allow the state to collect another $3.2 billion in federal funding that could have been rescinded if lawmakers failed to act Friday.

“The Legislature took bold action today that gets Californians back to work and puts California out in front once again,” Brown said in a statement. He later celebrated with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a fellow Democrat.

Brown pushed for the massive infrastructure project to accommodate expected population growth in the nation’s most populous state, which now has 37 million people. He said the project is sorely needed to create jobs in a region with higher-than-average unemployment.

The bill, which passed the state Assembly on Thursday, now heads to Brown for his signature.(More….)
=====================================

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-07-06/california-high-speed-rail/56071830/1

canopfor on January 13, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Um, Lets get something straight. California has no surplus, it is billions and billions of dollars in debt and the unfunded obligations are in the tens of billions of dollars. The thing that Gov Moonbeam did was to just take all of that debt, all of those interest payments and all of that unfunded liability and declare a balanced budget! Viola! Anything he didn’t want in the budget, he just took off budget. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way in real life, you still have to pay for those things. I guess he just figures we can pay for all those off-budget items with off-budget money. And you all know how much of that we have laying around.

Bikerken on January 13, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Welcome

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is responsible for planning, designing, building and operation of the first high-speed rail system in the nation. California high-speed rail will connect the mega-regions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs and preserve agricultural and protected lands. By 2029, the system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. In addition, the Authority is working with regional partners to implement a state-wide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the state’s 21st century transportation needs.

http://www.hsr.ca.gov/

canopfor on January 13, 2014 at 9:54 PM

build the train so passengers ride it semi-nekkid….that seems to be a new thingy…

workingclass artist on January 13, 2014 at 10:11 PM

The rail was sold to the people by fraud.The original cost was some low ball figure that has grown to nearly $100 billion.The people smell the rat and would vote it down.Brown’s clowns will do all they can to keep it from a vote.

docflash on January 13, 2014 at 10:11 PM

How much money has already been wasted on this project?

Flange on January 13, 2014 at 9:42 PM

At this point was does it matter? Everything will be fine.

arnold ziffel on January 13, 2014 at 10:14 PM

At this point was does it matter?

arnold ziffel on January 13, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Zip?

Flange on January 13, 2014 at 10:21 PM

Zip?

Flange on January 13, 2014 at 10:21 PM

They just go milk/pick the money cow/tree.

arnold ziffel on January 13, 2014 at 10:24 PM

Hope it passes and the junk this clunker. All it is a way to push taxpayer money to Friends of the Democratic Party.

GarandFan on January 13, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Who wouldn’t think that spending $20B to going from Fresno to Bakersfield in only an hour longer than it takes to drive is a bad deal?

pat on January 14, 2014 at 1:43 AM

Look at the bright side. At least these profligate wack-a-doodles didn’t spend $450 million on a web site that doesn’t work.

Although, I’m sure a toy train is just as an effective slush fund for political cronies…

locomotivebreath1901 on January 14, 2014 at 7:25 AM

don’t they NEED fast rail so that people can move out faster?
/s

conservative tarheel on January 14, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Worthless POS radical CA Rep. George Miller Announces Retirement

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/ballot-2014/2014/01/13/rep-george-miller-announces-retirement

Pork-Chop on January 14, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Look at the bright side. At least these profligate wack-a-doodles didn’t spend $450 million on a web site that doesn’t work.

Although, I’m sure a toy train is just as an effective slush fund for political cronies…

locomotivebreath1901 on January 14, 2014 at 7:25 AM

.
That’s a good analogy.

One of my many ‘takes’:
.

Amtrak; the governments toy train, paid for by the taxpayers, in ‘standard’ gauge.

listens2glenn on January 14, 2014 at 9:40 AM

High speed rail is a complete waste of money so they’re going to cancel it and spend it on education instead. HA!!!! You can;t make this stuff up.

Free Indeed on January 14, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Must has fast choo-choo.[/Joe Biden]

jukin3 on January 14, 2014 at 11:41 AM

How much money has already been wasted on this project?

Flange on January 13, 2014 at 9:42 PM

None of the money was ‘wasted’.

It all went to democrat cronys and contributors. Just like it was planned to do all along.

trigon on January 14, 2014 at 1:27 PM

“Mongo, why is a high roller like Hedley Lamarr interested in a town like Rock Ridge?”

“Dunno. Has to do with where choo-choo go.”

BillH on January 14, 2014 at 5:17 PM