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February 25, 2014

Contact: Nicole Winger
(916) 653-6575

High-Speed Rail Initiative Enters Circulation

High-Speed Rail. Future Bond Sales. New
Transportation Technologies. Initiative Statute.

SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced the proponent of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures for his measure.

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows:

HIGH-SPEED RAIL. FUTURE BOND SALES. NEW TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGIES. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Prevents sale of high-speed rail bonds previously approved by voters for construction of a high-speed rail system, except to fund any segment already under construction. Permits construction of first segment of the high-speed rail system to proceed, if Legislature consents, to allow comparison with other transportation technologies that deliver speeds exceeding 250 miles per hour or energy efficiencies exceeding 120 miles per gallon or equivalent. Authorizes state to acquire/dedicate right-of-way and contract with private developers to construct and operate new transportation technology pilot projects for comparison with high-speed rail. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Impact to state debt-service savings ranging from zero to about $650 million annually from not using state bond funds to construct high-speed rail, depending on how this measure is interpreted and the resulting reduction in bond funds spent. Potential state costs in the hundreds of millions of dollars to the extent that the state is not reimbursed by private developers for right-of-way acquisition for the development of transportation pilot projects. Potential reduction in state and local tax revenues of tens of millions of dollars annually for a few years, resulting from a loss of federal matching funds. (14-0001.)

The Secretary of State's tracking number for this measure is 1651 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 14-0001.

The proponent for the measure, Nick Garzilli, must collect signatures of 504,760 registered voters (five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election) in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponent has 150 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials by July 24, 2014. The proponent can be reached at (310) 729-6905.

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