From the Office of Governor Schwarzenegger:
Monday May 7th, 2007.
Thank you for writing to Governor Schwarzenegger to share your thoughts and concerns about highspeed rail. The Governor appreciates hearing from people who care about the important issues facing our great state.
In November 2006, California voters approved one of the largest bond packages in the state's history. This money represents a considerable down payment on repairing and building our infrastructure and boosting the public services necessary to preserve our quality of life. And, with the tremendous population growth expected for California over the next two decades, the Governor has put forward an even broader proposal that will include funding for flood control, schools, courts and the correctional system.
Because of the critical need for funding these other forms of vital infrastructure, California has a limited ability to borrow money for a full high-speed rail bond measure right now. Governor Schwarzenegger's comprehensive Strategic Growth Plan, and its varying bond components, cannot happen simultaneously with the high-speed rail bond without putting the state into a position of spending General Fund dollars at too-high levels. This approach instead protects California's credit rating and support for other important state programs.
But the Governor's proposed budget does recognize that high-speed rail is a viable transit option worth exploring for the future, and so it includes $1.2 million for staff support of the High-Speed Rail Authority. He is also willing to consider other potential payment options for such a rail system, including private financing.
Again, thank you for taking the time to write and share your thoughts with Governor Schwarzenegger. He welcomes any comments that can help improve the future of California.
Office of Constituent Affairs
-I am very impressed that I actually got a response, and related directly to the topic that I inquired about. While I am a little disappointed that the Governor can not fully fund the measure, I am pleased that he is including funding for the High Speed Rail Authority. Now it will be up to Rail supporters to vote on funding the plan a priority along with the measures in the Governor's strategic plan.