In hopefully the final blow to the California High-Speed Rail Authority and their monumentally expensive and ludicrous Bullet Train, Judge Michael Kenny has ruled the State can not issue bonds to pay for the Browndoggle.
It remains unclear if Brown and the State will continue to try to start construction of the project as they claim they may still spend about $3 billion of Federal funds they’ve already been allocated for the mess. We can also speculate that the State’s ongoing efforts to acquire private land for the rail alignment might be stopped to save the homes, businesses and farms that unfortunately lie in its path.
The John and Ken Show (KFI-640 AM) interviewed one of the winning lawyers this afternoon. He raised two important points that the print stories on this have missed. First, the federal funds must be matched by the State — we believe this means Jerry Brown must find $3 billion before any spending may occur — if such money can’t be found in a State with one half trillion dollars in unfunded pension liabilities, the Feds might ask for their money back. Second, the State has not met the environmental stipulations that are required for the entire project to be built, NOT just the few miles it’s planning in the Central Valley. The Rail Authority has already spent $600 million on consulting.
This debacle also and again raises the question of why the City of Anaheim, Big Lucy Dunn’s OC Business Council and the OC Transportation Authority has already begun building the $174+ million ARTIC station near the perfectly adequate Anaheim Metrolink/Amtrak Station at Angels Stadium since it was NEVER ASSURED that ARTIC would ever see the Bullet Train it was designed to receive. ARTIC is being built with Measure M funds and has completely failed to attract the private investment that was long ago predicted by Mayor-for-hire Curt Pringle.
Sacramento Bee update: Sacramento judge delivers setback to high-speed rail project.
Reuters with a Jon Coupal quote: http://www.vagazette.com/news/sns-rt-us-california-highspeedrail-20131125,0,2208802.story