California Proposition 1A, High-Speed Rail Act (2008)
- 1 Election results
- 2 Aftermath
- 3 Post-approval lawsuits
- 4 Text of measure
- 5 Support
- 6 Opposition
- 7 Polls
- 8 Editorial opinion
- 9 Path to the ballot
- 10 External links
- 11 References
- 12 Additional reading
A ruling by a judge handed down in November 2013 puts the high-speed rail project that would receive funding from Proposition 1A in peril.
Proposition 1A approved the issuance of $9.95 billion of general obligation bonds. This money is supposed to partially fund an 800-mile high speed train under the supervision of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. In 2008, when voters approved the measure, the estimate for the total cost of the project was $40 billion. In 2011, the California High-Speed Rail Authority issued a new cost estimate for the entire project, saying that it will cost between $98.5 billion and $118 billion.
The train, if built, will run between San Francisco and Los Angeles, with Anaheim, California, designated as the southern terminus of the initial segment of the high-speed train system. Estimates are that the train system, if it is built, will be completed in 2030, and that it will take passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in about 2 hours and 40 minutes. The system, if built, is expected to carry more than 120,000 riders per day at speeds of up to 200 mph.
$950 million of the 2008 Proposition 1A bond proceeds are to made available for capital projects on other passenger rail lines to provide connectivity to the high-speed train system and for capacity enhancements and safety improvements to those lines. The new debt from 1A, including interest, must be paid from the general fund.
The 7-member governing board of the California High Speed Rail Authority voted in November 2010 to build the first 65 miles of the projected 800-mile track from Madera to Corcoran. The 65-mile stretch will cost $4.15 billion. Construction will start in 2012.
|California Proposition 1A|
|Voter turnout||% of registered: 79.4%|
Proposal for a re-vote
State senator Doug LaMalfa is sponsoring a bill in the California State Senate in 2012 that would put the measure back before the state's voters. He said, "Moving forward with just the first $2.7 billion in bonds to fund the ‘train to nowhere’ section of rail will cost California taxpayers $180 million a year just to service that debt. That is less than 3 percent of the total cost to build the project. Are the supporters of this project willing to lay off teachers, cops and firefighters to pay for an unusable section of track?"
His office released a statement that said:
- "...in the past year the California Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 1A’s ballot language was misleading, the High Speed Rail Authority admitted to using government funds to lobby Congress and the State Legislature, Congress has withdrawn future funds from the project, the Legislative Analyst Office has called into question the legality of the financing for the proposed first leg of construction, and the High Speed Rail Peer Review recommended not building the project."
LaMalfa also said, "This thing you voted on in 2008 is not what was described at that time. The price is a whole lot different. Now that everyone is seeing reality, they need to have another shot at whether they spend the money. It is time the voters got a do over. If the legislature acts quickly this measure can be on the November ballot and voters can have their say."
A Field Poll conducted in November 2011 says that 64% of Californians want the opportunity for a re-vote. Furthermore, 59% of those voters say that they would reject the plan, if they could vote on it again. Of those who voted for Proposition 1A in 2008, 37% said they would now vote against it. The poll was conducted from November 15-27, 2011 among a random sample of 1,000 registered voters in California.
Fare estimate doubles
During the campaign for Proposition 1A in 2008, supporters estimated that the fare to ride the high-speed train between Los Angeles and San Francisco would be about $55 for a one-way ticket.
However, the California High Speed Rail Authority's 2009 business plan set the estimated ticket price to 83% of airfares, raising the one-way high speed rail ticket price between Los Angeles and San Francisco to $105, as this price point appears to be near the "level that will generate the highest revenue, and reduces the operating costs and the number of trainsets needed."
Menlo Park and Atherton are fighting a part of the high-speed rail plan that would divide their cities along the route between San Jose and San Francisco. Some critics claimed that when voters approved the bond in 2008, "the notion of a 15-foot divider splitting many cities on the Peninsula" was not known to be part of the plan." Then High-Speed Rail chair Rod Diridon, however, noted in an Jan. 18, 2002, speech before the San Mateo County Convention and Visitors Bureau that the plan called for elevated, grade-separated tracks along the Peninsula "topped with barbed wire."
Attempt to repeal
- Thomas Elias says that from the time of the vote in 2008 to January 2010, changes have been made to the plan that are significant enough that California's voters should get a chance to vote on the plan as it currently stands.
- Officials in five cities (Menlo Park, Burlingame, Belmont, Palo Alto and Atherton) planned to meet in April 2010 to consider whether to launch an effort to repeal Proposition 1A.
Ridership forecasts for the planned rail system were based on statistical assumptions that differ from those published for peer and public review, according to documents not made available until after the November 2008 election. The Daily News reported in February 2010 that "the discrepancy raises questions about the validity of the forecasts, which the state has relied on for everything from its selection of the rail line's route to its applications for billions in federal stimulus dollars. The numbers were also used to sell the project to voters ahead of the November 2008 election in which they approved $9.95 billion in bonds for the 220-mph Los Angeles-to-San Francisco line.
"Picture isn't pretty"
According to a December 2010 editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"California voters signed off on a generational big idea: build a fast and futuristic high-speed rail system linking the state's population centers. Now comes the hard part of working out the route, lining up the money, and managing a sprawling project never tried before. The challenges - pretty much left unsaid when $10 billion in bonds were approved on the ballot in 2008 - are now on full display. The picture isn't pretty."
Specific problems cited are:
- Some cities intend to block portions of the track from being built that would go through residential areas.
- "Congress, now in Republican hands, may yank promised money."
- "A string of reports suggests the project's management is overwhelmed by the task."
LAO identifies "serious problems"
The California Legislative Analyst's Office has issued a series of reports calling the project into question.
In a May 2011 report, the California Legislative Analyst's Office issued a report on the high-speed rail plans. The report recommended that because of the problems it identified, the first segment of the train should be built somewhere other than Bakersfield to Fresno: "...based on our analysis, other segments could provide greater benefit to the state’s overall transportation system even if the rest of the high–speed rail system were not completed."
2008 testimony by Joe Vranich
The LAO report also said that the project has "governance problems" and recommended that control of the project be transferred from California's High-Speed Rail Authority to the California Department of Transportation.
The LAO report additionally suggested that previous financial assumptions may have been too generous and that the rail project will actually require operating subsidies from the state government which, as they write, "would be contrary to explicit provisions in Proposition 1A."
The LAO report also said that before construction can begin "project officials must complete an environmental review and identify a corridor, a usable segment, all sources of committed funds and a schedule for the receipt of financing."
One of the LAO reports said that the project "relies on risky financial assumptions and has just a fraction of the money needed to pay for it."
Joe Simitian is a critic of how California's High-Speed Rail Authority is managed. He said, in 2011, "We're rapidly approaching a time when I'm going to have to ask myself, 'Is (the rail authority) capable of delivering?' That remains a question mark in my mind." Simitian made these remarks after several state oversight agencies produced analyses that asserted that the High-Speed Rail Authority had made "contract payments made without verifying that work was actually performed, [issued] payments for services or equipment not covered in consulting contracts, and [suffered from] a lack of policies and procedures to review invoices and payments."
Joseph Vranich, the author of "Supertrains" and a 40-year advocate of high-speed rail, testified before a hearing of California’s State Senate Transportation and Housing Committee in October 2008. He said, "This is the first time I am unable to endorse a high-speed rail plan" and that he found the California High Speed Rail Authority’s work to be "the poorest I have ever seen."
Delay of funds
Joe Simitian said in January 2012 that he wanted to delay the release of funds under Proposition 1A. Simitian said he thought state legislators should have a year to re-think the project, given the problems it has been experiencing.
Departure of executives
Agency's new plan
The board of directors of the California High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) announced a revised business plan in April 2012 that, they said, would shave $30 million from the $98.5 billion price tag that came attached to their 2011 business plan.
The new plan did not satisfy the growing chorus of critics, which include the California Legislative Analyst's Office. They "came out strongly" against the new plan, saying, "We find that HSRA has not provided sufficient detail and justification to the Legislature regarding its plan to build a high-speed train system. Specifically, funding for the project remains highly speculative and important details have not been sorted out. We recommend the Legislature not approve the Governor’s various budget proposals to provide additional funding for the project."
The federal government has pledged $3.6 billion to the project. The HSRA's new business plan assumes that the federal government will ultimately kick in around $18 billion. The LAO says this is not a safe assumption: "Given the federal government’s current financial situation and the current focus in Washington on reducing federal spending, it is uncertain if any further funding for the high-speed rail program will become available."
In the wake of voter approval of Proposition 1A, several lawsuits have been filed that could "delay, divert or derail the project altogether."
- Several cities and non-profits located in the Bay Area have sued over the planned route and over environmental concerns.
- The City of Palmdale, located in Los Angeles County, has sued to prevent the high-speed rail authority from building the planned Antelope Valley line up Interstate 5 instead of through the city.
- Kings County officials and residents are suing to stop a 100-mile stretch of track, which they say will wipe out thousands of acres of prime farmland between Fresno and Bakersfield. The lawsuit also says the project fails to meet construction and financial requirements approved by California voters in 2008. It asks the courts to stop the project.
- Critics who say that the current proposal for the project does not follow the conditions set up by the ballot measure. Specific complaints include the proposal that sections of the track be blended with current rail, which critics say cannot fulfill the time requirement, and the proposal to begin construction on an unusable segments, which they argue fails to meet the requirement that all construction be usable.
November 2013 Kenny rulings
Superior Court judge Michael Kenny handed down two rulings on November 25, 2013 that are said to have put the future of the high-speed rail plan in significant peril. However, Kenny did not order that current work on the project be halted. The lawsuits that resulted in the rulings were brought against the state by Kings County; Michael Brady is the attorney for the plaintiffs.
Kenny's rulings say that California's high-speed rail authority failed to follow several requirements built into Proposition 1A. Kenny's rulings do not prevent the state from spending money on the project that comes from sources other than Proposition 1A. However, his rulings do prevent any money from going to the project from the Proposition 1A bond fund until the state meets a series of requirements.
Kenny's requirements include:
- Before it can sell $8 billion of bonds authorized under Proposition 1A, the state must identify a source for $25 billion of funding that it has not yet raised but that would be needed to complete the project. Specifically, the state must identify a source of funding for the initial 290-mile segment in the San Joaquin Valley.
- The high-speed rail authority must complete a required environmental clearances for the Initial Operational Segment (the 290-mile segment in the San Joaquin Valley) before construction of that segment can begin.
Brady, an attorney for the plaintiffs, hailed the November 2013 rulings, saying, "It will be many, many more months before the state can get this thing back in gear, if they ever can. The good people of the Central Valley can sleep better tonight knowing their way of life is less threatened."
Text of measure
The ballot title was:
The official summary provided to describe Proposition 1A said:
- Provides long-distance commuters with a safe, convenient, affordable, and reliable alternative to driving and high gas prices.
- Reduces traffic congestion on the state's highways and at the state's airports.
- Reduces California's dependence on foreign oil.
- Reduces air pollution and global warming greenhouse gases.
- Establishes a clean, efficient 220 MPH transportation system.
- Improves existing passenger rail lines serving the state's major population centers.
- Provides for California's growing population.
- Provides for a bond issue of $9.95 billion to establish high-speed train service linking Southern California counties, the Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Provides that at least 90% of these bond funds shall be spent for specific construction projects, with private and public matching funds required, including, but not limited to, federal funds, funds from revenue bonds, and local funds.
- Requires that use of all bond funds is subject to independent audits.
- Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay bond principal and interest.
- See also: Fiscal impact statement
The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:
- State costs of about $19.4 billion, assuming 30 years to pay off both principal ($9.95 billion) and interest ($9.5 billion) costs of the bonds. Payments of about $647 million per year.
- When constructed, additional unknown costs, probably in excess of $1 billion a year, to operate and maintain a high-speed train system. The costs would be at least partially, and potentially fully, offset by passenger fare revenues, depending on ridership.
Ballot title lawsuit
Prior to the 2008 election, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association filed Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Bowen, asking for a writ of mandate to authorize the Attorney General of California to write the ballot language for Proposition 1A rather than use the ballot language written for 1A by the California State Legislature. The trial court declined this request of the HJTA but on January 27, 2011, the California Third District Court of Appeal sided with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. Although the ruling was too late to impact Proposition 1A, the court's ruling says that when the California State Legislature took it upon itself to dictate what the ballot language for Proposition 1A should be, it violated the provisions of 1974's Proposition 9:
- "...to the extent it specified the ballot label, title and summary to be used, the bill negated the Political Reform Act's requirement that the official summary of the bill be prepared by the Attorney General in addition to the ballot label and title that are prepared by the Attorney General. As we will explain, this ad hoc amendment of the Political Reform Act did not further the purposes of the Act and was not approved by the voters. Thus, it was invalid. Simply stated, the Legislature cannot dictate the ballot label, title and official summary for a statewide measure unless the Legislature obtains approval of the electorate to do so prior to placement of the measure on the ballot."
The decision is expected to have far-reaching consequences for the state legislature's ability to write the ballot titles for its legislatively-referred measures, which it has been doing since at least 1990.
Supporters of Proposition 1A included:
- The California High-Speed Rail Authority
- The Transportation and Land Use Coalition (TALC), hired by California High-Speed Rail Authority
- Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco
- Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton
- Jim Costa, D-Fresno
- Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose
- Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Mayor Los Angeles
- California Democratic Party
- California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Kern County Taxpayers Association
- California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG)
- California League of Conservation Voters
- Endangered Habitats League
- Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
- California State Association of Counties (CSAC)
- League of Women Voters of California
- Cities of Sacramento, San Jose and San Mateo
Arguments in favor
Notable arguments made in favor of Proposition 1A included:
- It will reduce California's reliance on foreign oil and reduce greenhouse gases.
- It is a "balanced transportation improvement package offering statewide benefits."
- It will lead to economic growth in the state that will create 450 thousand permanent jobs.
- Economic activity added due to the high-speed train will more than pay for the cost of servicing the bonds.
- The high speed train network proposed in the initiative will reduce highway traffic congestion without raising taxes.
- It will save commuters time and money.
- It will expand transportation options.
- It will remove 12 billion pounds of CO(2) emissions.
- The ridership and revenue forecasts in the project's plan were subjected to "tough peer review."
- Federal funds and private grants that amount to as much as 9 billion dollars will match the debt incurred if this proposal passes.
Two campaign committees to support the proposition were established. They were Californians for High-Speed Trains; Yes on Proposition 1A and California Public Interest Research Group Supporters for Prop 1A.
$2,634,640 was contributed to the campaign in favor of a "yes" vote on Proposition 1A.
Donors of $100,000 or more were:
|California Alliance for Jobs Rebuild California Committee||$516,500|
|Operating Engineers Local 3||$250,000|
|International Union of Operating Engineers||$250,000|
|Professional Engineers in California Government||$183,493|
|California State Council of Laborers||$100,000|
Groups opposing Proposition 1A included:
- California Rail Foundation
- Council for Citizen's Against Government Waste
- California Taxpayer Protection Committee
- Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
- California High Speed Rail Land Impacts
- Reason Foundation
- Advocates for Coe Park
- Wendell Cox, a former member of the Los Angeles County Transportation commission
- The cities of Menlo Park and Atherton
- The Libertarian Party of California
- California Chamber of Commerce
- California Farm Bureau Federation
- Local Chambers of Commerce in El Dorado County, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Greater Riverside, San Fernando Valley and Rancho Cucamonga
Notable arguments made against Proposition 1A included:
- There is no guarantee the project will ever be completed.
- There is no current business plan. One was required for submittal, by law, on September 1st, 2008.
- Building the rail system on the proposed route will have an adverse impact on 140-180 parks, wildlife refuges and protected open spaces.
- It is a political boondoggle and a waste of taxpayers money.
- California High Speed Rail Authority cost claims are underestimated with the actual cost likely to reach $81 billion.
- Existing transit systems should be expanded instead of starting from scratch.
- The estimates that Prop 1A supporters have made as to how many riders the system would have are grossly overstated, so the system, if built, will have less revenue, and huge unpredicted cost overruns.
- It's not fair to ask all Californians to subsidize rail travel for those who will use the system.
- Debt from 1A, including interest, must be paid from the general fund. This means that there will be less for other important state programs.
No campaign committee was established to fight Proposition 1A, and no funds were spent opposing it.
- See also Polls, 2008 ballot measures.
Field Poll released statewide poll numbers on Prop 1A in July and for late October. The October poll showed majority support with a narrowing margin.
|Month of Poll||Pollster||In favor||Opposed||Undecided|
|July 2008||Field||56 percent||30 percent||14 percent,|
|October 2008||Field||47 percent||42 percent||11 percent|
"Yes on 1A"
- The Los Angeles Times asked its readers to consider a "yes" vote, saying, "That's not too much to wager on a visionary leap that would cement California's place as the nation's most forward-thinking state."
- The San Francisco Chronicle endorsed Prop 1A, saying that it "presents an ambitious vision that is well tailored to the state's transportation and environmental needs. We recommend its passage."
- The San Francisco Bay Guardian gave its strongest recommendation for Prop 1A, describing the benefits as "overwhelming" and "the costs of not approving this measure [as] huge."
- The San Jose Mercury News urged readers to vote yes on Proposition 1A because "[t]hese are the right things to do for the future, and putting them off will only increase the costs." "The proposal, years in the making, has been thoroughly vetted in public debate, particularly over the route. The High Speed Rail Authority made the right choices, coming up with a practical and visionary plan that will place San Jose and Silicon Valley at the heart of the Bay Area's economy. We recommend it."
- The Fresno Bee wrote that voting yes on Proposition 1-A was a declaration that Californians can rise to the challenge of the current economic situation with vision and determination as they did when approving the Golden Gate and Bay bridges, and the Shasta Dam. "Voting "yes" on Proposition 1A is a declaration that we still possess those qualities, and have not surrendered them to a timid faith in a status quo that is no longer sustainable."
- The Del Mar Times recommended a yes vote on Proposition 1-A to answer concerns about freeway congestion and air pollution. "Sometimes we need to look beyond the economic present with eyes squarely focused on the future and as a result, bring back a little shine to California's tarnished forward-thinking and environmentally friendly reputation."
- The San Diego City Beat supported Prop 1A, "We think it’s worth it. We want what many Europeans and Asians already enjoy. Vote yes on Proposition 1A."
"No on 1A"
- The Orange County Register was opposed to Prop 1A, saying, "A high-speed rail system connecting Northern and Southern California is a nice dream, but the proposed project ventures into fantasyland territory." In another editorial called "Proposition 1A a fast track to bankruptcy" they wrote, "to call this project a boondaoggle would be an understatement. At a time when California state government is operating at a substantial deficit...it would be irresponsible to take on a debt of this magnitude, especially given that the total cost of the train would be many tens of billions of dollars more."
- The San Diego Union-Tribune was opposed to Proposition 1A. In their editorial "Proposition 1A: No, no, no" they questioned the bond measure against the backdrop of massive fiscal chaos and uncertainty, saying, "it is hard to fathom how state voters could consider a Yes vote on Proposition 1A, which would issue $9.95 Billion in bonds as part of a $40 Billion-plus project to build high-speed trains linking Northern and Southern California."
- The Oakland Tribune also opposed Proposition 1A, saying that "instead of addressing our real transportation needs, Proposition 1A is asking taxpayers to spend the first tens of billions of dollars on what amounts to a Boondoggle Express rail system that won't be built for many years, if not decades."
- The Sacramento Bee recommended a "no" vote on Proposition 1A. Under a subheader declaring "Why we Oppose it," they wrote the following: "Until California fixes its chronic budget deficits, it can't afford to increase its debt for projects that, while desirable, are not of vital necessity. In addition, the rail system that supporters are touting may not be as high-speed as advertised. Potential conflicts with freight service lines could make trains slower than those found in Europe or Japan." They go on, saying that "if it passed, this proposition would take $647 million annually from the general fund that, without a tax increase, would have to come from other services. That's money the state can't promise."
Path to the ballot
The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 1A on the ballot via Assembly Bill 3034 of the 2007–2008 Regular Session (Chapter 267, Statutes of 2008).
|Votes in legislature to refer to ballot|
The High Speed Train Bond Act was originally slated to appear on the November 2, 2004 ballot. However, Senate Bill 1169 (Chapter 71, Statutes of 2004) bumped it from the 2004 ballot with the proviso that it be placed, instead, on the November 7, 2006 ballot.
When the vote to remove the High Speed Train Bond Act from the 2004 ballot was made as part of that year's budget act, the California Legislative Analyst's Office published a note predicting that moving the vote into the future would "significantly" increase the total cost of building the high speed rail system: "The budget proposes to repeal Chapter 697, thereby removing the high-speed rail bond measure from the November 2004 ballot. Our review shows that postponing the bond measure to a later date would likely not cause delay in the development of a high-speed rail system. However, total costs of the system have been revised upward and will be significantly higher than previously reported to the Legislature."
Subsequently, Assembly Bill 713, Chapter 44, Statutes of 2006, provides for the submission of the Act on the November 4, 2008 general election ballot, rather than the November 7, 2006 ballot.
- Official Voter's Guide to Proposition 1A
- CA High Speed Rail Due Diligence Report
- Background study on high-speed rail in California (dead link)
- Smart Voter Guide to Proposition 1A
- Analysis of Proposition 1A (dead link) from the Institute of Governmental Studies
- Guide to Proposition 1A from the California Voter Foundation
- Summary of donors to and against 1A from Cal-Access
- Donors for and against Proposition 1A from Follow The Money
- California High Speed Trains, official support website.
- California High Speed Rail Authority, supporters.
- California High Speed Rail Blog, analysis and open discussion.
- No on Proposition 1A, opponents.
- Derail High Speed Rail, No on 1A, opponents.
- California High Speed Rail Land Impacts, opponents.
- Advocates for Coe Park.
- James R. Mills, Secretary of the California Rail Foundation, is also opposed, saying, "In today's tough economic times, the last thing we need is more debt for yet another badly conceived project."
- Mercury News: "High-speed rail bond at a glance"
- Marin Independent Journal, "California's high-speed rail imperiled by court rulings," November 25, 2013
- Palo Alto Online, "Price tag swells for California high-speed rail project," November 1, 2011
- Mercury News, "Another high-speed rail vote may be needed," January 19, 2010
- Association of California High-Speed Trains
- BizJournals.com: "Pacheco Route picked for high-speed train," July 10, 2008
- laist.com: "California High-Speed Train Route Completed," July 10, 2008
- Ballot Language
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Obstacles on the tracks with high-speed rail," December 8, 2010
- Hometown Station, "High Speed Rail Project Could Be Back On The Ballot," January 30, 2012
- Mercury News, "Poll: Two-thirds of California voters support high-speed rail revote," December 6, 2011
- Field Poll, "Voters Very Aware of High Speed Rail Project. Large Majority Wants Legislature to Call a Revote on the Bond Package. Majority Would Vote No if an Election Were Held Today," December 6, 2011
- Business Plan: December 2009 Business Plan Report to the Legislature
- San Mateo County Times, "Effort under way to repeal high-speed rail bond measure," April 14, 2010
- The Daily News, "Bullet train ridership numbers don't add up, watchdog says," February 6, 2010
- The Business Journal, "Report: High-speed rail faces 'serious' problems," May 10, 2011
- Los Angeles Times, "Bullet train funding plan faulted," November 30, 2011
- KERO 23/ABC, "Auditor: Calif High-Speed Rail Has Risky Financing," January 25, 2012
- California Watch, "Rail authority spends hundreds of millions with little oversight," July 10, 2011
- National Review, "California’s High-Speed Train Wreck," August 8, 2011
- Palo Alto Online, "Simitian seeks to postpone high-speed-rail funding," January 13, 2012
- Peninsula Press, "Menlo Park activist leads the charge against high-speed rail," March 1, 2012
- SCV News, "High Speed Rail’s Top 2 Bosses Quit," January 13, 2012
- Almanac News, "Update: High-speed rail price tag drops by $30B in new plan," April 2, 2012
- Huffington Post, "California High Speed Rail Slammed In New Government Report, Defunding Project Recommended," April 19, 2012
- Sacramento Bee, "Lawsuits threaten to delay or derail California high-speed train," September 20, 2011 (dead link)
- Voice of Orange County, "Critics of High-Speed Rail Project Now Moving In for the Kill," December 6, 2011
- Sacramento Bee, "Dan Walters: Lawsuits loom as California's high-speed rail moves forward," March 19, 2013
- San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rail rebuke result of ignoring public," November 27, 2013
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Court slaps lawmakers for one-sided measure titles," January 28, 2011
- Daily Breeze, "Ruling targets bias on ballots," February 5, 2011
- TALC website (timed out)
- Fresno Bee: "Governor wants high-speed rail option," May 7, 2007
- San Francisco Chronicle: "Schwarzenegger wants guarantees of support for high-speed rail," Jan. 16, 2008
- California High Speed Trains Authority
- "California's Economic Stimulus"
- "The Local Economic Benefits of High-Speed Rail"
- Planning and Conservation League
- Official voter guide arguments in favor of Prop 1 (dead link)
- Californians for High-Speed Trains; Yes on Proposition 1A
- Californians for High-Speed Trains; Yes on Proposition 1A
- Follow the Money, "Donors to Yes on 1A"
- San Mateo Daily News: "Not Aboard!," September 25, 2008
- Sacramento Bee: "Dan Walters: Bullet Train's Vital Details Still Missing." October 24, 2008 (dead link)
- California High Speed Rail Land Impacts
- OC Register: "Taking taxpayers for a ride California focus," July 14, 2006
-  (dead link)
- Official voter guide rebuttal arguments (dead link)
- Los Angeles Times, "How much will Prop 1A cost taxpayers?," October 21, 2008
- Los Angeles Times, "Why should all Californians pay for high-speed rail?," October 20, 2008
- July 22 Field Poll results on Proposition 1
- Field Poll, "Release #2293 Release Date and Time: 6:00 a.m., Saturday, November 1, 2008"
- Los Angeles Times: "Yes on California bonds; Bullet trains, children's healthcare and veterans' housing all deserve support," October 2, 2008
- "Endorsements 2008: State ballot measures", San Francisco Bay Guardian, October 8, 2008
- "Editorial: Yes on 1A: It puts Silicon Valley and California on the fast track", San Jose Mercury News, October 18, 2008
- "Yes on Proposition 1A, Now more than ever state needs jobs, cleaner air, easier travel", Fresno Bee, October 17, 2008
- "High-speed rail proposition worth support" (dead link)"Del Mar Times," October 16, 2008
- "Our Endorsements", "San Diego City Beat," October 14, 2008
- Desert Dispatch: "No bonds for high-speed rail," September 25, 2008
- OC Register: "Editorial: Proposition 1A a fast track to bankruptcy." September 23, 2008
- San Deigo Union-Tribune: "Proposition 1A: No, no, no." September 21, 2008
- Oakland Tribune: "Reject Boondoggle Express by Voting No on prop. 1A." September 12, 2008
- Sacramento Bee: "Endorsements '08: Say 'No' to all propositions except 11." October 9, 2008 (dead link)
- Analysis of the 2004-05 Budget Bill
- California SOS page
- San Francisco Chronicle, "High-speed rail bond financing is off track - Vote no on Proposition 1A," October 8, 2008
- California voters to decide fate of ambitious bullet train project on election day
- Travel referendums: Funding California's high speed rail system
- Full speed ahead: Voters to decide fate of high speed rail
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