SACRAMENTO – Two key pieces of legislation introduced by Senate Republicans that would have streamlined operations within Caltrans and allowed voters re-vote on California’s High-Speed Rail project where both killed today by Democrats during a hearing of the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee.
The hearing is part of a Special Session of the California Legislature focusing on fixing California’s crumbling highways and roads. Senate Republicans have offered a comprehensive package of bills, including the two that were killed today, that aims at ensuring taxpayers get the best bang for the buck when it comes to fixing California’s roads, but ensures transportation dollars are spent on transportation projects.
The two bills killed by the ruling Democrats were:
Senate Bill 1X 3, authored by Sen. Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) that would have allowed a re-vote on the controversial High-Speed Rail project and redirect the funds to improve our transportation infrastructure. In addition, Senate Bill 1X 9 by Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) would have prohibited the use of temporary funding sources, such as loan repayments, bond funds and grant funds, to hire permanent staff. SB 1X 9 would have also increased the share of contract employees in the Caltrans’ Capital Outlay Support program by five percent annually, beginning in 2016, until a 50/50 ratio of state staff and contract employees is reached in 2023.
Both members expressed disappointment in their legislation being killed by Senate Democrats.
"This train will do nothing for many of us in California," said Sen. Vidak. "Democrat Senate Leadership knows that if voters were given the chance, they would stop High-Speed Rail in its tracks, and that's why they killed this bipartisan bill."