California Dems Try To Restore High-Speed Rail Killed by Schwarzenegger
May 23 (LPAC)--Sen. Dean Florez and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma are coordinating an effort to protect the state's High-Speed Rail Commission, which was gutted in the January 2007 budget by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his role as puppet of George Shultz and Felix Rohatyn.
While the agency had requested $103 million, the Governator cut it to $1.5 million, barely enough to keep the Commission's doors open. Florez introduced a proposal for $40 million, which was passed today by the Senate Budget Committee. It is still likely that Arnie will veto it.
A $10 billion bond measure to fund high-speed rail was supposed to be on the ballot in 2004 and 2006, but the legislature removed it both times. Schwarzenegger has asked again that it be kept off the 2008 ballot. He wants to kill any government-funded proposal for high-speed rail, preferring instead public-private funding of highways, including toll roads.