Calif. HSR authority unveils small biz plan, approves funding

Posted on November 4, 2011

The California High-Speed Rail Authority released two new documents which, added to the Business Plan released earlier in the week, provide the public with key information about how the development of high-speed rail can be accomplished in California.

The first document was a draft of a new Small Business Policy, outlining contracting requirements to advance the participation of Small Businesses (SBs), Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) and Micro-Businesses in the authority's procurement process. The small business policy was approved by the board and will be integrated into contract requirements. Included in the Policy is a requirement to meet an overall 30 percent small business participation goal.

Furthermore a small business program, including outreach, compliance, auditing was approved by the board for release to the public to gather feedback and comments prior to final adoption. This requirement will ensure firms that participate in the construction of the high-speed train system will reflect the diversity of the state's diverse business community.

The second document is the funding plan, as required and outlined in Proposition 1A. It was unanimously approved today by the authority board of directors. Prop 1A requires that, "[n]o later than 90 days prior to the submittal to the Legislature and the Governor of the initial request for appropriation of proceeds of bonds authorized by this chapter for any eligible capital costs on each corridor, or usable segment thereof, identified in subdivision (b) of Section 2704.04, other than costs described in subdivision (g), the authority shall have approved and submitted to the director of finance, the peer review group established pursuant to Section 185035 of the Public Utilities Code, and the policy committees with jurisdiction over transportation matters and the fiscal committees in both houses of the Legislature, a detailed funding plan for that corridor or a usable segment thereof."

The Funding Plan precedes the authority's upcoming request for appropriation of proceeds of bonds for the amount of $2.684 billion, which is the amount needed to supplement $3.316 billion in federal funds awarded for use on the Initial Construction Section. The combined funding of $6 billion represents the full amount of funding believed to be needed to complete the Initial Construction Section.

Although the authority will not yet be requesting the full amount of bond proceeds to complete the Usable Segments at this time, the Funding Plan outlines the use of the funds over the coming years.

With the plan's approval by the board of directors the authority has authorization to submit the funding plan to required recipients including the Department of Finance.

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