BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 528
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 8, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                  AB 528 (Lowenthal) - As Amended:  April 25, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                               
          TransportationVote:14-2

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:               

           SUMMARY  

          This bill modifies requirements of the State Rail Plan and  
          streamlines requirements of the California High-Speed Rail  
          Business Plan. Specifically, this bill:

          1)Requires Caltrans to prepare the rail plan pursuant to the  
            federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008  
            (PRIIA), and specifies the requirements of passenger rail  
            element and of the freight rail element of the plan.

          2)Requires the final plan to be submitted to the Transportation  
            Agency for approval by March 1, 2017, and upon approval to the  
            Legislature, the Governor, the Public Utilities Commission,  
            the High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA), and the California  
            Transportation Commission.

          3)Requires the plan to be updated at least every five years.

          4)Revises elements of the HSRA business plan to provide  
            clarification and eliminate redundancies, and requires  
            submittal to the Legislature by May 1, 2014 and every two  
            years thereafter.

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)Absorbable costs to Caltans, which indicates the bill is  
            consistent with its current efforts to meet the planning  
            requirements of the PRIIA.

          2)The bill is also consistent with current requirements of the  
            HSRA's business plan. 








                                                                  AB 528
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           COMMENTS  

           1)Purpose  . According to the author, the rail plan prepared by  
            Caltrans and the business plan prepared by HSRA need revision  
            to reflect new requirements proposed by federal law, as well  
            to modify them to be more streamlined and efficient.

            The federal PRIIA establishes requirements for state rail  
            plans, and conditions submittal of federal capital grant  
            applications upon completed state rail plans. This bill aligns  
            the policies and schedules for the state plan with the federal  
            requirements. 

            Current law requires HSRA to submit their business plan to the  
            Legislature by January 1, 2012, and further specifies the  
            required elements of the plan, several of which are redundant  
            and overlapping.  This bill streamlines the plan elements to  
            eliminate redundancies and establishes a reporting deadline of  
            May 1, 2014 for the next iteration of the plan, with biennial  
            submission thereafter.  

           2)Prior Legislation  .  In 20012, SB 1117 (DeSaulnier), which  
            modified the requirements of the rail plan, was vetoed. The  
            governor indicated that the newly established Transportation  
            Agency would be taking the lead in planning a comprehensive  
            state rail system.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916) 319-2081