Racing to the Governor is a bill, which quietly passed the legislature that would wipe out the supervision of the GSA California department for the purchase of properties in the Central Valley for the High-Speed Rail project.
California State Assemblymember, Bonnie Lowenthal (D) Longbeach, friend of the High-Speed Rail project and unions, carried the bill, AB 481. She is known for her disrespect for public concern regarding the rail project by routinely shutting down public comment in the Assembly Transportation Committee, which she chairs. If the Governor signs the bill, it would free the High-Speed Rail Authority from the oversight for land acquisitions in the Central Valley. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/08/5635214/bill-would-ease-land-use-for-high.html
The last time the Authority went before the state’s General Services Division, the meeting lasted less than 8 minutes. This was for permission to go forward with negotiation for the acquisition of 356 parcels of land.
In the meantime, Assemblymembers Jim Patterson (R) Fresno and Frank Bigelow (R) Madera has filed another request with the Audit committee and asked for an audit of the land acquisition procedures. An audit was previously requested by Assemblymember Diane Harkey (R) Dana Point and was turned down by this committee. In actuality the State Auditor has the power to audit without permission of the audit committee on it’s own volition, powers given to that agency by Prop 1A. If anything, the HSR Authority needs more not less oversight.