GOP lawmakers want to take money from several different sources and spend it on road, highway, bridge and port projects. What they don’t want to spend it on is high-speed rail.
“We’re done with that. We’re over that,” says Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway (R-Tulare), whose proposal would ask voters to scrap high-speed rail and put the money towards infrastructure instead.
“The taxpayers are now stuck with a huge bill, the governor’s folks even keep raising up the estimation of what that’s gonna cost, and here we are today and nothing’s been done," Conway says.
The proposal would set aside $11 billion in one-time funds – mostly from voter-approved high-speed rail bonds – and $2.4 billion each year in Proposition 42 gas tax revenues. Republicans say their plan would create more than 100,000 jobs.
Governor Jerry Brown's administration says canceling the high-speed rail project would cost the state $3 billion in federal funds – and cost the Central Valley thousands of jobs.
California Democrats and progressive groups hoping that strong state budget revenues would help them make the case for new spending will likely be disappointed by April income tax collections.
Bills that would deal with pay gaps between companies' CEOs and workers, and create four-year community college degrees moved forward in the legislature Thursday, while a measure would requiring kill switches on smart phones and tablets stalled.
Nurses across the state are calling for greater protections from violent patients. Lawmakers will vote on a bill today that would require hospitals to do more to prevent violence at their facilities.
California employees owed back wages would be able to place a lien on their former employer’s property under a bill that cleared the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee Wednesday.
Four candidates for California’s Secretary of State covered issues from vote by mail elections to business licenses in a debate today. And they didn’t disagree on much.