Vidak: ‘Let the people re-vote on High-Speed Rail’

Vidak: ‘Let the people re-vote on High-Speed Rail’

SACRAMENTO — Newly elected Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, has authored a set of amendments to an existing Assembly bill to allow Californians to vote on whether or not to proceed with the High-Speed Rail project, and would halt any further bond sales until a vote has occurred.552

“I’m simply asking to let the people re-vote on High-Speed Rail,” said Vidak in a statement Monday. “This runaway money train needs to be returned to the station before another taxpayer penny is spent.”

The bill, AB 1317 by Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, proposes changes in statutes regarding the Governors’ Reorganization Plan 2, creating three new agencies, one of which would be “The Transportation Agency – responsible for addressing the state’s transportation needs,” according to bill analysis.

Vidak’s amendment were inspired out of the colossal changes in the high-speed rail plan since voters first passed Proposition 1A in 2008, authorizing the $35 billion High-Speed Rail project. That projected cost escalated to more than $100 billion, but HSR officials, under severe criticism, dropped the cost to $68 billion.

“Instead of taking on further debt to finance High-Speed Rail, we should redirect that money to areas that need real investment such as water, education, healthcare and public safety,” Vidak said. His amendments would prevent any bond sales on high-speed rail.

“Voters were told that High-Speed Rail would take them from Los Angeles to San Francisco in two hours and 40 minutes at a cost of $50 per ticket,” said Vidak. “The estimated trip is now closer to four hours and the cost is more than $100 per ticket.”

A March 2013 Public Policy Institute of California poll found that only 43 percent of Californians currently support building High-Speed Rail. A 2011 a Field poll found that 64 percent of Californians wanted to revote on High-Speed Rail.

It is doubtful Vidak’s amendments will go anywhere as the Democratically-controlled  Legislature appears bound and determined to railroad the high-speed rail project, at any cost.

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