SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The California State Assembly last night approved AB 3034 (Gagliani/Ma) by a vote of 60-3. The legislation improves existing California High Speed Train Bond Act by strengthening provisions for financial controls, environmental findings and construction implementation.
The technical amendments in AB 3034 clarify construction and financing requirements for the $9.95 billion dollar bond measure, which will be on the November 2008 statewide ballot. The bill also prioritizes construction segments based on financial readiness and ability to leverage local, federal, and private funds.
Prior to passage on the Assembly floor, two Assembly committees, Assembly Transportation and Assembly Appropriations approved the measure without any negative votes.
Judge Quentin Kopp, Chairman of the California High-Speed Authority commented, “The strong vote on the Assembly floor reflects increasing vitality and enthusiasm for high-speed rail in California. Despite past vicissitudes, the Assembly’s overwhelming vote demonstrates California’s purposeful progress in providing 200 mile per hour train service from southern California through the Central Valley to the Bay Area and Sacramento.”
AB 3034 will now move to the California State Senate for approval.
Vote was taken on May 30, 2008
(Video overview of the proposed CA High Speed Rail project)
Fiona Ma was elected to represent California’s 12th Assembly District including San Francisco, Daly City, Colma and Broadmoor. As a former San Francisco supervisor, Assemblywoman Ma hit the ground running in Sacramento. She is Majority Whip, responsible for ensuring the passage of crucial legislation to improve public education, expand healthcare access and protect our environment. She has one of the leading advocates for bringing high-speed rail to California. In 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed Fiona to the White House Conference on Small Business. Her tireless advocacy for women and minority business owners has led to responsible public contracting in San Francisco.
Assembly Member Fiona Ma’s life seems the stuff of dreams: born to immigrant parents and now making history as the highest-ranking Asian-American woman in the state Legislature.
Ma has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, a master’s degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University and an MBA from Pepperdine Unversity. Her CPA career started in the tax department of Ernst & Whinney’s Manhattan office, followed by five years working for Ernst and Young in San Francisco. Next, Ma joined the tax practice at Ghiasi & Company, where she worked for 10 years, specializing in real estate, hospitality and high net worth individuals, after which a series of events led her into public office.
Ma’s ties to her roots remain strong, as she’s taken her local concerns to Sacramento—along with her skills as a CPA. California CPA talked with Ma (D-San Francisco) about her journey to the Capitol and Sacramento politics. …(read on)