California Congress Members Urge Action On High Speed Rail
WASHINGTON, DC - A bipartisan group of twenty-seven members of the California Congressional Delegation, spearheaded by Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno), have urged Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state's legislative leadership to provide future support for development of a High Speed Rail System.
In a letter to the governor and Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, and Republican Leaders, Senator Dick Ackerman and Assembly member George Plescia the Members of Congress urged continued funding of the High Speed Rail Authority for the next two years so the Authority can complete its work on the Environmental Impact Reports, work that is needed so that right-away acquisition and construction could begin if California voters approve the bond measure in 2008.
Text of the letter follows:
June 15, 2006
Hon. Don Perata Hon. Fabian Nunez
Senate President Pro Tem Speaker of the Assembly
State Capitol, Room 205 State Capitol, Room 219
Sacramento, CA 95814 Sacramento, CA 95814
Hon. Dick Ackerman Hon. George Plescia
Senate Republican Leader Assembly Republican Leader
State Capitol, Room 305 State Capitol, Room 3098
Sacramento, CA 95814 Sacramento, CA 95814
As members of the bipartisan California Congressional Delegation, we urge you to support the proposed funding levels for the High Speed Rail Authority and to include those operating funds in the 2006-2007 state budget.
In addition, we also support moving the $9 billion High Speed Rail Construction Bond measure from the November, 2006 election ballot to the November, 2008 election ballot.
Further, we support creation of the proposed Joint Legislative Committee on High Speed Trains to be made up of 5 Members of the Senate and 5 Members of the Assembly.
The continued funding of the High Speed Rail Authority, setting a new date certain for the High Speed Rail Construction Bond to go before voters, and the increased legislative oversight of the High Speed Train issue by the proposed Joint Legislative Committee on High Speed Train are, each and every one, interrelated and offer the greatest opportunity for the state to develop a transportation network of 21st Century ability.
By 2025, it is predicted that California's population will exceed 50 million people. The ongoing influx of new residents already places great strain on the state's transportation network. Our highways are overcrowded and increasingly dangerous. Air quality continues to be a problem throughout the state due, in no small part, to emissions from automobiles and trucks.
Creation of a High Speed Rail System will most certainly connect all aspects of the state's transportation infrastructure including passenger rail, highways and air transportation systems. The integration of our transportation infrastructure that will come about with the build-out of a High Speed Rail System will help relieve our crowded
highways, improve air quality throughout the state and allow enhanced movement of goods and people in a manner consistent with California's growing population. This is extremely important to our long-term economic growth.
In order for the ultimate integration of our transportation network to take place, the High Speed Rail Authority must have the ability to continue its work. This is why we support continued funding for the Authority.
Increased legislative oversight of the High Speed Rail Authority's activities will allow greater public input as the Authority's work moves forward in anticipation of the proposed system's construction bond's approval by voters.
We further believe that moving the High Speed Rail Construction Bond measure to the November, 2008 election ballot is appropriate, given the task that lie ahead for the High Speed Rail Authority and the opportunity for greater legislative oversight that will come about by creation of the Joint Legislative Committee on High Speed Trains.
In advance, thank you for considering our position on these issues. We look forward to continued collaboration in our mutual desire to solve California's transportation needs.
** This letter was signed by the following members of the House of Representatives: Joe Baca (D-CA43), Howard Berman (D-CA28), Ken Calvert (R-CA44), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA18), Jim Costa (D-CA20), Susan Davis (D-CA53), Sam Farr (D-CA17), Bob Filner (D-CA51), Jane Harman (D-CA36), Mike Honda (D-CA15), Darrell Issa (R-CA49), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA16), Doris Matsui (D-CA5), Howard McKeon (R-CA25), George Miller (D-CA7), Grace Napolitano (D-CA38), Devin Nunes (R-CA21), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA8), Richard Pombo (R-CA11), Linda Sanchez (D-CA39), Adam Schiff (D-CA29), Brad Sherman (D-CA27), Hilda Solis (D-CA32), Ellen Tauscher (D-CA10), Mike Thompson (D-CA1), Diane Watson (D-CA33), Henry Waxman (D-CA30)
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