Saturday, March 08, 2014

Another court defeat for high-speed rail

Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability

Judge Kenny rules for Prop 1A case to move forward
March 7, 2014
Kathy Hamilton

In a court ruling last week, Judge Michael Kenny agreed with the plaintiffs, John Tos, Aaron Fukuda and Kings County that the part 2 of their case can move forward. This is called the 526A suit. The High-Speed Rail Authority argued that the case shouldn’t go forward. The ruling can be found here. This part of the case will examine what the plaintiff’s believe are violations of the Prop 1A bond measure. The first part of their case concentrated on the funding plan the HSR Authority presented to the Legislature, which was found to be illegal by the California Superior Court.

Within two days of the court’s published ruling, the Tos legal team was notified that the Attorney General’s office was going to file another Extraordinary Writ of Mandate to stop this most recent ruling....

It appears the Rail Authority is trying to shut down the legal process with their latest tactic. This new case would be independent of others before the Appeals Court.

Stuart Flashman is pleased with the decision of the Superior Court to hear the 526A case. “We’re gratified by Judge Kenny’s ruling denying the High-Speed Rail Authority’s motion. The Authority was in essence trying to shut the case down. Our complaint says that the Authority’s project doesn’t meet requirements for the high-speed rail system that were set when California voters approved Proposition 1A. Judge Kenny’s ruling means we get our day in court to prove our case. If we’re successful, it will mean the Authority can’t use the bond funds to build its noncompliant project.”

In the background, the Court of Appeal, also known as an Appellate Court, has agreed to review Judge Kenny’s prior ruling. The Attorney General’s office asked the court to review the Superior court decision that required the Rail Authority to rescind its funding plan and the other Judge Kenny decision not to validate bonds that were needed to fund construction of the project.

Peninsula people, heads up. Friday, February 28th, the Environmental document was released for the Caltrain’s electrification project....There is a 60-day public comment period. At the Caltrain board meeting, the Caltrain board was warned they should slow down and not obligate itself for contracts too early since the fate of the High-Speed Rail project was unknown. The question is where will they get $620 million if the Prop 1A funds from the high-speed rail project disappear...

Kathy Hamilton's earlier articles on high-speed rail. Hamilton also contributes to Cal

A Caltrain promotional video on electrification doesn't mention high-speed rail:

Randal O'Toole on Governor Brown's cap-and-trade idea.

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