California “Stop High Speed Rail Investment and Reinvest in Education” Initiative (2014)

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A California “Stop High Speed Rail Investment and Reinvest in Education” Initiative (#14-0004) has been approved for circulation in California as a contender for the November 4, 2014 ballot as an initiated state statute.

Supporters of the initiative refer to it as the "Stop the $100 Billion Dollar High-Speed Rail and Reinvest in Education Act".

Text of measure

Ballot title:

High-Speed Rail. No Issuance or Sale of Future Bonds. Termination of Project. Initiative Statute.

Official summary:

"Prevents the issuance and sale of the remaining amount of high-speed rail bonds previously approved by the voters to initiate construction of a high-speed rail system. Authorizes the Legislature to redirect any unspent high-speed rail bond proceeds away from high-speed rail purposes, to repay outstanding highspeed rail bonds. Prevents state from incurring additional debt, spending any federal, state, or local funds, or entering into new contracts for the high-speed rail project. Requires state to terminate the high-speed rail project, including, to the extent feasible, existing contracts."

Fiscal impact statement:

(Note: The fiscal impact statement for a California ballot initiative authorized for circulation is jointly prepared by the state's Legislative Analyst and its Director of Finance.)

"State debt-service savings of up to about $700 million annually from not using state bond funds to support high-speed rail, depending on the actual reduction in bond funds spent as a result of this measure. Potential reduction in state and local tax revenue of tens of millions of dollars annually for a few years, resulting from a loss of federal matching funds."

Path to the ballot

See also: Signature requirements for ballot measures in California
Note: April 18, 2014 was the deadline for initiative and referendum proponents to submit collected signatures to county election officials, as suggested by the California Secretary of State.[1] The deadline, however, has operated in the past as a date of assured consideration. Signatures for initiatives, such as 2012's Proposition 30 and Proposition 31, have been submitted upwards of eighteen days after the deadline and still qualified for the general election ballot for that year. Proponents of initiatives who submit their signatures after the April 18 deadline for 2014, but by their initiative's petition circulation deadline, and have their initiative qualified, will have their initiative placed on the 2016 ballot.
  • Jeff Gorell submitted a letter requesting a title and summary on January 10, 2014.
  • A title and summary were issued by the Attorney General of California's office on March 3, 2014.
  • 504,760 valid signatures are required for qualification purposes.
  • Supporters have until July 31, 2014 to collect the required signatures. Filing sufficient signatures by that date would not allow the initiative to compete on the November 4, 2014 ballot.
  • The Secretary of State’s suggested signature filing deadline for the November 4, 2014 ballot was April 18, 2014.

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