BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, COUNTY OF SAN MATEO, STATE OF CALIFORNIA
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RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF SENATE BILL 517 (LOWENTHAL), HIGH SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY
RESOLVED, by the Board of Supervisors of the County of San Mateo, State of California, that
WHEREAS, under current law, the High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) was established as an independent authority consisting of a nine-member board; five members appointed by the Governor; and two members each appointed by the Senate Rules Committee and the Speaker of the Assembly; and
WHEREAS, recent Senate oversight hearings and study by the Legislative Analyst Office on the performance of the HSRA, have determined that the development of a high-speed rail system in California will cost approximately $43 billion and require the HRSA to enter into very complex public-private partnerships; and
WHEREAS, these same oversight bodies found numerous problems with the work of the HSRA, including significant environmental and continuing, unresolved community relations issues and no business model for the project; and
WHEREAS, Senate Bill 517 would vacate the membership of the current board and require new appointments of members with various changes, including requiring specific expertise of some members and would also place the HRSA under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency; and
WHEREAS, Senate Bill 517 would also impose important financial conflict of interest provisions including prohibiting board members from taking a job with a firm under contract with the HSRA; and
WHEREAS, Senate Bill 517 would help to ensure that HSRA board members have the background and expertise necessary to manage a complex multi-billion construction project, increase accountability by incorporating the HSRA into the structure of state government, and to ensure the integrity of HSRA board members and employees by implementing conflict of interest and revolving door policies.
WHEREAS, by proposing to place the HSRA within the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, Senate Bill 517 seeks to have the HSRA better engage the Executive Branch and have it share responsibility with the Legislature for the performance of the Authority.
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY DETERMINED AND ORDERED that the Board of Supervisors by the adoption of this resolution hereby supports Senate Bill 517 (Lowenthal) regarding the High-Speed Rail Authority.
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