Calif. legislators call for re-vote on high-speed rail

Posted on July 7, 2015

Rendering courtesy CHSRA
Rendering courtesy CHSRA

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two state legislators are pushing for a re-vote on the controversial California high-speed rail project, saying the public should have a say on whether to continue funding the bullet train, the Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported.

Vidak’s measure would allow Californians to vote on whether they want to continue funding the HSR project, which is estimated to cost $100 billion to complete, and would immediately freeze any further spending on the project until after a vote on June 7, 2016.  If approved by voters, any unspent HSR dollars would be redirected to repair and/or construct new state highways and local streets and roads. 

“The high-speed rail of today is not what the voters approved in 2008,” said bill sponsor state Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, in a statement announcing the effort this week. “Californians deserve the right to re-vote on this massive transportation project that could end up costing hundreds of billions of dollars if it is ever completed.  The money would be better spent on local roads and highways."

The measure, which is co-authored by Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, would have to be approved by a two-thirds vote in the state Legislature and a majority vote of the public, the report said.

The high-speed rail project has been contentious statewide, including in the Santa Clarita Valley, where residents and elected officials have raised numerous concerns with its potential impacts on communities and the environment, SCVS reported. 

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