Desperate Governor Petitions Supreme Court

Desperate Governor Petitions Supreme Court 01/24/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail In a rather shocking act of desperation, Governor Brown has had the Attorney General file a petition for an extraordinary writ with the California Supreme Court. The petition seeks to get around the two rulings of the Sacramento Superior Court, which have tied up the California High-Speed Rail Authority in knots. Interestingly, both the Governor and the Chair of the Authority discounted the significance of the Superior Court ruling when it first came out, and continue to do so. Meanwhile behind the scenes, deputies in the Attorney General’s office were busily working away at a 50+ page brief: “The trial court’s approach to these…

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Authority Pleads for End to Beating

Authority Pleads for End to Beating 01/10/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The California High-Speed Rail Authority filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, seeking to have the Sacramento Superior Court put an end to its losses in the Tos case. See the papers filed on this motion at the bottom of this page. Tags: HSR Litigation

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Judge’s decision also endangers $3.3 billion in federal funds

Judge’s decision also endangers $3.3 billion in federal funds 11/29/13 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Great press coverage:  Judge’s decision also endangers $3.3 billion in federal funds California high-speed rail plans stopped in tracks High-speed rail financing struck down by judge, project in jeopardy Bullet train snag could affect Transbay Terminal Sacramento judge’s ruling throws bullet train’s future in doubt Locals Participated in High-Speed Rail Court Case (This Bakersfield Californian article is no longer available.) EDITORIAL: Pump the brakes on ‘bullet’train Dan Walters: High-Speed Rail ‘blended system’ may help derail it: “It’s time for a backspace-delete. Brown should acknowledge that the project as now planned is doomed and either kill it or go back to…

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TRAC Proposes Plan B for HSR

TRAC Proposes Plan B for HSR 11/27/13 Filed in: High-Speed Rail In the wake of the collapse of the Central Valley project, the Train Riders Association of California has issued its Plan B for High-Speed Rail: 1. The Train Riders Association of California (TRAC) strongly supports a modern High-Speed Rail (HSR) system for California. HSR will be critical in providing interregional mobility to a growing population at a lower environmental impact than widening highways and adding runways. Successful HSR should greatly benefit the economy. 2. Even if the currently proposed $6 billion Merced-Bakersfield project were successfully completed, no funding is available to build the rest of the HSR system. This would leave this very expensive…

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Court Delivers Dual Body-Blows to High-Speed Rail Project

Court Delivers Dual Body-Blows to High-Speed Rail Project 11/25/13 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Judge Michael Kenny of the Sacramento Superior Court placed two major roadblocks today in front of the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s  Central Valley project. The judge had ruled back in August that the Authority’s funding plan for the project had not complied with the requirements of the Proposition 1A High-Speed Rail bond measure. His ruling today will prevent the Authority’s project from spending bond measure funds for construction until the funding plan is brought into compliance. Because that would require finding at least $26 billion in grants, compliance seems virtually impossible. In addition, the judge declined today to validate the issuance…

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Mercury News Editorial Pronounces Death of HSR Project

Mercury News Editorial Pronounces Death of HSR Project 11/25/13 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The Mercury News published the editorial below on the Court’s rulings. Note the sentence in bold on the Read More page. Mercury News editorial: High-Speed Rail ruling is right onA Superior Court judge Monday slowed the California bullet train boondoggle to a crawl. It’s about time. For more than two years, Gov. Jerry Brown and his puppet leading the California High-Speed Rail Authority board, Dan Richard, have overstepped their legal authority and disregarded the will of the voters by pushing ahead full-throttle. Judge Michael Kenny had ruled…

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New HSR Briefs Filed

New HSR Briefs Filed 11/05/13 Filed in: High-Speed Rail A Reply Brief by the HSR Authority was filed in the Validation Suit, prior to the hearing held on September 27. Validation briefs are available here. The Authority asserted at the very last moment in the Atherton appeal that the Surface Transportation Board’s assertion of jurisdiction over the HSR project has resulted in the federal preemption of CEQA. The Authority is asking that the appeal be dismissed, because it claims that CEQA cannot be enforced. These claims have led to the filing of amicus briefs by prominent environmental organizations. Briefs in the Atherton appeal are available here. Taxpayer Lawsuit A series of briefs were filed in the Tos case which…

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Hoisted on their own petard

Hoisted on their own petard 09/20/13 Filed in: High-Speed Rail After shocking the state by asserting that the California Environmental Quality Act, CEQA, did not apply to the High-Speed Rail project, the  California High-Speed Rail Authority is about to taste comeuppance. The Tos plaintiffs, who challenged the HSR project’s compliance with the HSR bond measure’s taxpayer protection provisions, have struck back. They filed papers to join in a motion seeking to halt the state’s validation proceedings. The rationale is priceless: Because the expectation of CEQA compliance is written into the HSR bond measure, plaintiffs claim that the project cannot use bond funds if CEQA compliance is abandoned. Since the preemption issue will be determined in the appeal process, plaintiffs…

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Validation: It’s a Funny Concept

Validation: It’s a Funny Concept 08/22/13 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Fearing an infinite number of lawsuits challenging the issuance of High-Speed Rail bonds, the California High-Speed Rail Authority filed an arcane  legal maneuver in the Sacramento Superior Court, seeking to force anyone wanting to sue to put up or shut up. The maneuver is called a Validation  Suit. After the Authority has filed its Opening Brief, it asks all persons that are interested in challenging the issuance of bonds to come forward to file an Objection. After the Authority files a reply brief, the Court will then rule on whether challenges to the issuance of bonds are forever banned. An especially fascinating aspect…

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Killer Ruling on HSR Compliance

Killer Ruling on HSR Compliance 08/16/13 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Court Rules High-Speed Rail Not Compliant with Bond Measure Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny issued a ruling Friday that the Funding Plan for the $8 billion High-Speed Rail project in the Central Valley is legally defective because it fails to meet the requirements of Proposition 1A, the High-Speed Rail Bond measure. The landmark case, Tos v. California High-Speed Rail Authority, was filed by a farmer, a rural homeowner and Kings County. The Court agreed that the Authority’s Funding Plan failed to validly certify that for the Merced to San Fernando Valley segment of the project, all environmental clearances had been completed and that sufficient funding…

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