In a closely watched ruling Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny today denied a request by the California High Speed Rail Authority to use $8.6 billion in state bonds to help finance the construction of the high speed rail line in the state.
The rail agency had sought “ a judgment approving their actions authorizing the issuance of more than eight billion dollars in bonds. The bonds are intended to provide funds that will be used to begin construction of the system.Today the Court found “that the validation judgment must be denied. The Court finds no evidence in the record that supports the plaintiffs’ determination that it was necessary and desirable to authorize the issuance of bonds at the time that determination was made.”
The judge found a state Finance Committee authorizing the expenditure March 18,2013 did not include evidence that it was necessary to issue the bonds.Quoting the judge “…..the determination must be supported by evidence in the record. This requirement is essential in order to protect against administrative action that is merely arbitrary or capricious.”
The agency is currently using some $6 billion in federal monies to begin construction on the first 29 mile segment from Fresno to Merced.
In a second ruling based on his August ruling finding that “California High Speed Rail Authority abused its discretion by approving a detailed funding plan, the judge today ordered the Authority to re-do the plan but declined to stop the project’s current activities. A request for an injunction was denied.
On their Facebook page the rail Authority commented. Today, Sacramento Superior Court issued two rulings in cases involving the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The following statement is from Authority Board of Directors Chairman Dan Richard:
“We are reviewing both decisions to chart our next steps, but it is important to stress that the court again declined the opposition’s request to stop the high-speed rail project from moving forward. Additionally, the judge did not invalidate the bonds as approved by the voters in Proposition 1A. Like all transformative projects, we understand that there will be many challenges that will be addressed as we go forward in building the nation’s first high-speed rail system.”