Vidak Holds Democrats Feet to the Fire on High-Speed Rail Oversight

Bullet Train Opponents must be Allowed Equal Time
Monday, January 25, 2016

Sacramento – Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) delivered separate letters to the chairs of two legislative committees urging that they allow opponents of High-Speed Rail (HSR) to have a fair opportunity to be heard during upcoming hearings on the controversial project.

One letter went to the chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #3, which Assemblyman Richard Bloom chairs.  The other letter went to Senator Jim Beall, the chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing.

“Some of the past HSR oversight hearings have been nothing more than political theater and productions by project proponents and their supporters,” said Vidak.  “Most of the time HSR opponents are not invited to testify or are relegated to the general public comment section of name, organization and position.”

Vidak recently asked the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) to approve his request for an independent review of HSR by the State Auditor.  The audit request was rejected by Democrat legislators on the committee on a party-line vote of 7-3.

Beall, who is a member of JLAC, argued at the hearing that the audit wasn’t necessary because his Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing will hold a “comprehensive” oversight hearing of HSR this spring.

The Assembly Budget Subcommittee #3 is scheduled to hold a hearing on High-Speed Rail on Jan. 27.

“High-Speed Rail opponents must be allowed equal time at the table to that of the High-Speed Rail Authority and other proponents, or these hearings will be nothing more than a white wash,” said Vidak.

For a copy of the letter to the Assembly committee, click here.

For a copy of the letter to the Senate committee, click here.

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