California High Speed Rail Proposal Heading to Ballot

Rapidly approaching a ballot deadline, CA Gov. Schwarzenegger caved in his pledge to veto any bills sent to him prior to receiving a budget by signing a bill that modernizes the 2002 high speed rail bond. Prop 1A will now appear on the Nov. ballot.

"Nearly three weeks after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he would block any bill that reached his desk until the Legislature approves a budget, the governor signed a bill Tuesday that revises the $9.9 billion high-speed rail bond measure on the November ballot."

"The governor believes Californians ought to have the opportunity to vote (on this measure) on the November ballot despite the fact that the Legislature is two months past their deadline in passing a budget," said a Governor's spokesman.

The revised bond measure is widely expected to be more attractive to voters because of the added financial oversight.

From Dan Walters (Bee's columnist):
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, meanwhile, is driving his political credibility even lower, if that is possible, by saying he'll sign some legislation to revise the $9.95 billion bond issue for high-speed rail that's already on the ballot. Schwarzenegger had pledged not to sign any bill until a budget is passed, including the rail bond measure, but now says he will.

It's not the first time that Schwarzenegger has drawn a line in the political sandbox, promising to do or not do something, and then reneged."

From SacBee, August 8: "Bullet train bill backed by governor could derail his veto vow":

"Is Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger bluffing?

On Monday, lawmakers will likely send him a bill that he supports aimed at improving the $9.9 billion high-speed rail bond on November's ballot.

But to sign it, he will have to break his recent pledge to veto all bills until lawmakers agree on a state budget, now 39 days late."

The "high-speed rail legislation – which beefs up oversight and makes rail funding more flexible – must be signed by the end of the day Monday (August 11) to make the Nov. 4 ballot, according to a deadline given by Secretary of State Debra Bowen."

"Galgiani's bill, AB 3034, removes Proposition 1 and replaces it with Proposition 1a, which would redefine the initial route as running as far south as Anaheim. It also opens up other segments for funding as long as spending does not have an "adverse impact" on the main route.

The bond is expected to cover less than a third of the rail's total cost. Planners hope to raise additional money from private sources and the federal government.

The bill also includes fiscal controls sought by Schwarzenegger, such as limits on how much could be spent on planning and administrative activities."

Thanks to The Roundup

Full Story: Schwarzenegger relents on bills, signs high-speed rail measure

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