Attorney General’s Office: Bullet-train law not binding on Legislature

The bullet-train project doesn’t have a legal financing plan or adequate environmental rules, according to an Aug. 16 decision by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny. The state Attorney General’s Office doesn’t dispute that part of Kenny’s ruling. Instead, it argues that the state law that Kenny held the California High-Speed Rail Authority was violating can be ignored by the Legislature. The AP report on a Nov. 8 court hearing captures the oddity of the AG’s position well.

“… it would be up to the state Legislature to step in if lawmakers believed the $68 billion funding plan does not comply with Proposition 1A, which authorized $10 billion in high-speed rail bonds, Deputy Attorney General Michele Inan said.

“‘The taxpayers are represented through the legislative process,’ Inan told Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny.

“Kenny ruled in August that the rail authority ‘abused its discretion by approving a funding plan that did not comply with the requirements of the law.’ He further said it had failed to identify “sources of funds that were more than merely theoretically possible.”

“Still, Inan argued that since the Legislature approved spending the money to get started on high-speed rail, only the Legislature can undo it or ask for an updated funding plan.”

LOL. Attorney General Kamala Harris appears determined to turn California into a banana republic in which court rulings and state laws matter only if the Legislature agrees that they matter. Or at least to give herself political cover while the bullet train project falls apart.

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