High Speed Rail: An open letter to Assemblyman Jerry HIl
Original post made by Morris Brown, Menlo Park: Park Forest, on Nov 1, 2012
I was astounded to hear you state, in the Candidate forum, defending your vote on the High Speed Rail appropriation in July, that you did not vote to approve a $68 billion High Speed Rail project. You stated your vote was to bring $1 billion to electrify CalTrain along a 2 track corridor and also to send funds down south for other regional rail.
Really! The appropriation contained $6 billion to start the High Speed Rail project in the Central Valley. The appropriation also approved spending $1.2 billion of the $9 billion authorized by the voter approved Prop 1A bond funding in 2008, to improve or modernize regional rail.
The big problem is, Assemblyman Hill, that this $1.2 billion appropriation is clearly illegal. Prop 1A says these funds are to be used for a State wide HSR project and not for regional commuter rail. That is what the voters approved in 2008, and the Legislature has no right to change what the voters approved. This defense for your vote, is clearly not valid.
Right now, Governor Brown is running up and down the State promoting Prop 30, a $50 billion tax increase, stating these funds will be used to fund schools, State colleges and Sate Universities and that failure of the voters to approve Prop 30 will mean further cuts to these institutions.
Why should any voter believe what the Governor promises? When you read Prop 30, you see the funds go into the General fund and can be spent as approved. Yes, the funds could be spent on education, but there is no legal mandate to do so, only the Governor's promise that this will be the result.
The High Speed Rail appropriation in July was pushed through by Governor Brown, Senator Darrell Steinberg, and Senator Mark Leno. Here you had the Governor spending Prop 1A funds for projects clearly prohibited by the conditions in Prop 1A. Again, why should any voter believe the Governor, or the Legislature will end up spending the funds from the increased taxes if Prop 30 passes, for the educational system of the State? They just have no credibility.
Menlo Park, CA
A link on YouTube to the 2 minute video of Assemblyman Hill's statement is located at:
text of what you said...
....but where the miss understanding is, people think that the Legislature voted 68 billion dollars for a High Speed Rail system in June, where all they voted for was 4.6 billion dollars of bond money to be used in this area, this peninsula, and the region will get over a billion dollars of that money for electrification of CalTrain, positive train controls, get new Bart train, which has the oldest fleet in the country right now for public transit. So those are the opportunities we are going to get and Southern California will get the same public transit benefits and will be some in the valley. So there is no 68 billion dollar vote for High Speed Rail. And if there is one in the future it will have to stand on its own, and it will have to prove the utility independently of anything else to get my vote for High Speed Rail. I voted for the electrification of CalTrain and the guarantee in writing that it will be a 2 track blended system on the peninsula.