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MEDIA ADVISORY                                
October 13, 2010


Phil Yost (650) 688-6384


SACRAMENTO—Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed accountability measures in the 2010-2011 state budget that would have required the California High-Speed Rail Authority to meet several benchmarks by February 1, 2011, in order to continue to receive state funding.

The budget passed by the California Legislature required the High-Speed Rail Authority to provide the following:
  •        An analysis of whether the train system can be operated without a public subsidy, as required by the statewide ballot proposition that authorized the bonds to start building it;
  •        A financial plan update with alternative funding and construction scenarios (including reliable ridership and fare projections);
  •        A detailed account of its community outreach efforts; and,
  •        A report on how it plans to address management deficiencies highlighted by the Bureau of State Audits.

In his veto message, the Governor said, “While the Administration supports these reporting requirements, making the appropriation contingent upon receipt and approval of this report by the Legislature could result in project delays, jeopardize the Authority’s ability to meet already tight federal deadlines and result in increased state costs.”

State Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) characterized Schwarzenegger’s veto as “regrettable.” Simitian noted that “the High-Speed Rail Authority desperately needs to rebuild its credibility and public support. A failure to require accountability measures only makes that task more difficult.”

The reporting requirements were added to the budget by the Senate Budget Subcommittee #2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation, chaired by Simitian. They were subsequently approved by the Budget Conference Committee and the Legislature.



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