Assembly Passes Bill to Streamline HSR Land Acquisition
While Republicans try to undermine the process of high speed rail construction by seeking unnecessary audits, Democrats in Sacramento are working to streamline it – and save money at the same time:
The California High-Speed Rail Authority could manage property it has bought for the bullet train without extra oversight under legislation now heading to the governor.
The bill by Democratic Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, of Long Beach, allows rail officials to negotiate property access rights and sell excess land without getting approval from the state Department of General Services.
Lowenthal says AB481 makes handling property issues faster and more cost efficient.
Republicans are complaining that this reduces oversight, but it’s unclear that there’s really any strong need for the Department of General Services to sign off on this. And typically Republicans are the ones talking about the need for government to save money on projects.
This is a good bill that ought to be approved by the Senate and signed by the governor, another step forward in helping this project move forward.