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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

California’s High Speed ‘Browndoggle’ Breaks Ground

Desperate to get any part of California’s High Speed Rail built, Gov. Jerry Brown pushed the groundbreaking for the rail system upto Tuesday, just as the new Republican Congress is getting settled.

The motive? Democrats want to get their hands on $3.5 billion in federal stimulus money. And, there’s no time like the present… following a recent Third District Court of Appeal ruling which overturned a Sacramento Superior Court decision which contended that the funding plan for the high-speed rail project violated the ballot measure voters approved in 2008.

Dan Richard, chairman of the board of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said they would move “aggressively” to build “a modern high-speed rail system that connects the state, creates jobs and complies with the law.”

There’s no time to waste lest another legal decision derail their plans.“Jobs, jobs, jobs” was the campaign rally cry for Jerry Brown during his 2010 run for governor, when he vowed his support for high-speed rail. He supported it so much it’s earned the nickname the “Browndoggle.”

In January 2013, Brown held carefully staged signing… Read More

Katy Grimes

California Attempts to Regulate the Sale of Gas Under Cap-and-Trade

On Monday, Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, and more than 20 other Republican lawmakers announced the introduction of theAffordable Gas for California Families Act,legislation to exempt transportation fuels and natural gas from the California Air Resource Board’scap-and-trade program.

“We struck a nerve!” Patterson told me. Patterson said he was surprised at the media response, and how many in the media did not know the gas tax is starting Jan. 1 – next month.

Patterson is working on issues like the gas tax,… Read More

Katy Grimes

Lawmakers Propose Exemption For January Gas Tax

California, the state obsessed with being first at everything, is aiming to add another first to its record books — Not content to be the first state in the country to tax the air we breathe, California will be the first in the nation to impose a cap and trade tax on transportation fuels.

In response, Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, and Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, and more than 20 other Republican lawmakers, announced Monday, the introduction of theAffordable Gas for California Families Act,legislation to exempt transportation fuels and natural gas from the California Air Resource Board’scap-and-trade program.

The move afoot by the radical left to strip Americans of their cars under the guise of environmentalism, knows no bounds.

With the second highest gas taxes in the country, and a flailing cap and trade program, whose only trading partner is Quebec,California is already paying the price.

While the rest of the country is currently enjoying lower gas prices, Californians will be faced with a hefty new… Read More

Katy Grimes

State Democrats kill High-Speed Rail accountability spending bill

SACRAMENTO — It is very discouraging that something so clear-cut like the High-Speed Rail Authority’s misspending practices are embraced by state Democrats.

Assembly Bill 1501, by Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, California High Speed Rail Funding Accountability Act, was killed in the Assembly Transportation Committee Monday, with the majority of Democrats voting in opposition.

Citizens for High-SpeedRead More

Katy Grimes

Bill to stop High-Speed Rail in its tracks

California’s High-Speed Rail Authority continues to forge ahead with the project to build the $68 billion train system, despite a court decision saying the HSRA cannot use Proposition 1A funds that were approved by the legislature.

To address this and many other controiversial decisions by the HSRA, Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, has introduced AB 1501 to protect California taxpayers from a risky financial obligation by the HSRA.

“By continuing to spend federal money, the HSRA is leaving taxpayers holding a bag full of matching state bond funds that a judge has said can’t be spent,” Patterson said in an interview. “We are essentially overdrawing our bank account by spending these federal funds. We simply don’t have the matching funds required by the federal… Read More

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