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) was approved for circulation in California as a contender for the November 4, 2014, ballot as an initiated state statute.

Supporters of the initiative referred 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
  • 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 were required for qualification purposes.
  • Supporters had until July 31, 2014, to collect and submit the required number of signatures, as petition circulators are given 150 days to circulate petitions.
  • The Secretary of State’s suggested signature filing deadline for the November 4, 2014, ballot was April 18, 2014. This means that if supporters had submitted enough valid signatures by July 31 but after April 18, the measure could have been pushed back as far as the next statewide general election, in November 2016.

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