The Legislative Analyst’s Office says the financing plan does not fulfill key requirements of the ballot measure voters approved to authorize the project.

By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
November 30, 2011

The funding plan for the California bullet train does not comply with key provisions of a ballot measure that voters approved to authorize the project and $9 billion in state bonds to help finance it, according to a report released Tuesday.

The study — by the Legislative Analyst’s Office, which periodically reviews the $98-billion construction proposal — concluded that the most recent funding plan does not meet important requirements of Proposition 1A because high-speed trains cannot operate on the first stretch of track to be built next year in the Central Valley.

Before bond financing can be requested, analysts said, project officials must complete an environmental review and identify a corridor, a usable segment, all sources of committed funds and a schedule for the receipt of financing.

“Our review finds that the funding plan only identifies committed funding for the initial construction segment, which is not a usable segment, and therefore does not meet the requirements of Proposition 1A,” their report said.

In addition, analysts said, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has not obtained all environmental approvals for any usable segment and probably would not receive the necessary clearances before the start of construction.

High-speed rail officials discussed the report Tuesday with the analyst’s office. They contend that the funding plan complies with the 2008 ballot measure and other statutory requirements.

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