Supreme Court Declines Review of High-Speed Rail Bonds Suit

The California High-Speed Rail project achieved another victory on October 15 when the state Supreme Court declined to hear a suit challenging the issuance of bonds for the rail system’s construction. The Court did not offer explanation for its decision.

A Sacramento Superior Court judge had ruled that the rail’s funding plan was inconsistent with Proposition 1A, the 2008 voter-approved initiative for the project that laid out initial funding, because the plan relied on uncertain future revenue sources. The Third District Court of Appeal disagreed in California High Speed Rail Authority v. Superior Court, and ordered the trial court to enter judgment validating the authorization of the bond issuance for purposes of the proposition.

The project is currently estimated to cost $68 billion. Earlier this year, the project secured future funding whereby it will receive a portion of the state’s cap-and-trade proceeds. Construction of the first rail segment is already underway in Fresno, where crews are demolishing buildings and relocating utilities to make way for the tracks. Opponents continue to challenge the project, but for now, the High-Speed Rail project is chugging ahead.