Apologies for the dearth of updates — the posts I have promised previously are in progress, but free time has been in short supply lately. But I did want to post a new update from just today on AB 3034, the high-speed rail bill. The Senate’s amendments to AB 3034 passed through the Assembly earlier this month, and now the bill just awaits the Governor’s signature. Despite his promise to veto any legislation until the budget fiasco (now 57 days late, as of August 26) comes to a close, Arnold has decided that AB 3034’s positive revisions to the high-speed rail bond measure (along with three other ballot measures) qualify as exceptions. Last I heard, this past Sunday, August 24, was the “absolute deadline” to add anything to the ballot, but no one appears to have any idea what the deadline actually is, and Secretary of State Debra Bowen says the Legislature can choose its own deadline. (UPDATE: the deadline may actually be this Friday, August 29.) In any case, it will be a relief to have AB 3034’s revisions incorporated into the bond measure, so we can finally get some closure on this badly-handled issue. Here was the Governor’s letter, with further details:
Dear Speaker Bass, Senator Perata, Mr. Villines and Senator Cogdill,
The deadline for enacting measures for the November 2008 ballot is upon us. Any measures that must be placed on the November ballot must be acted on quickly. There are four measures that fall into this category: a measure that makes critical changes to the high-speed rail bond already slated to appear on the November ballot; a measure to allow the state to improve the performance of the Lottery, which is critical to the budget negotiations now underway; legislation to establish a rainy-day fund and reform our budget process; and a general obligation bond measure to address the mounting state’s water crisis.
I urge you to send me these measures that must be placed on the November ballot immediately.