Assembly Member Harkey introduces AB 76 to curb High Speed Spending

Diane Harkey, 73rd AD

Diane Harkey, 73rd AD

 Press release from Assembly Member Diane Harkey follows:

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      Contact: Gino Folchi
January 4, 2011                                               949.347.7301
 
Harkey Bill to Curb High-Speed Spending

SACRAMENTO – In an effort to make the difficult decisions necessary to keep the state of California solvent, Assemblywoman Harkey has introduced AB 76, which will eliminate state debt funding for California High Speed Rail (CHSR).  The statewide rail proposal has been project has been plagued by controversy regarding unsubstantiated ridership projections, funding and state auditor reports questioning the CHSR processes and tracking of contracts and public funds.

“The lack of oversight, accountability and inconsistency in route and planning, should sound a strong signal that this estimated $40-80 billion dollar train deserves to be derailed. The people of California are tired of out-of-control state spending and expect us to do what we can to put California’s finances back on track,” Assemblywoman Harkey stated. 

After 2 years, the multi-billion dollar project still lacks the required investment grade analysis that would answer some of the mystery surrounding potential for subsidies, total project costs and potential funding sources. Article XVI of the state’s constitution allows the legislature to make tough decisions regarding elimination of previously approved bond debt.   

“Without a full project analysis, including projections, benchmarks and an orderly legislative review process, we could issue billions in long-term debt without proper oversight,” Harkey added.

At a time when our state is de-facto bankrupt and facing $20 billion deficits for years to come, Harkey asserts that the legislature cannot afford to spend blindly on such an expensive luxury item. Facing drastic budget cuts, funding such a large non-priority project would likely divert funds from local transportation, and deprive California’s schools, social services and public safety of scarce dollars.

 Assemblywoman Harkey represents the 73rd Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Oceanside, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.

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