After eagerly awaiting news for the whole day about the high speed rail bond measure, an article gets posted online literally one minute after I left to go home for the day. So what’s the news? There is none. After all the drama built up over the weekend about Debra Bowen’s August 11 deadline to have the AB 3034 high speed rail bill approved by the Assembly and signed by the Governor, it turns out … August 11 isn’t the deadline after all? In light of Arnold’s threat to veto any legislation plopped onto his desk, the Assembly never voted on whether Prop 1 should be replaced with Prop 1A, which is the new measure that would have included AB 3034’s provisions for secondary corridor funding and oversight of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. In any event: thanks to those of you who took some time out of your weekend to contact the Governor or your Assemblymember.
The new deadline to add Prop 1A to the November 4 ballot is now this Saturday, August 16 — but it is still an open question as to whether Prop 1A can replace Prop 1, or if both would appear side-by-side on the ballot. There is a worry that having two competing high speed rail measures on the same ballot will simply confuse voters, encouraging them to default to a “no” vote on both measures. On the other hand, AB 3034’s additional provisions are a considerable improvement over the original Prop 1 as it now stands. Personally, I am a little peeved that legislators have been arguing down to the wire on this. AB 3034, which affects an investment in California’s single most important transportation infrastructure project, has sat stewing in the legislature now for almost six months (it was introduced on February 22, 2008). Ideally, this discussion about the bill would have closed well before the deadlines.
No matter what happens, Transbay Blog awaits with bated breath the next word from our ever-wise elected officials sitting on high in Sacramento.