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Holding California Department Heads Accountable

Hidden cost overruns on the state’s high-speed rail project, a secret government slush fund in the Parks Department and the many issues plaguing management of the Bay Bridge project prompted Assemblymember Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) and Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) to introduce legislation that increases accountability for State department bosses.

Patterson was Thursday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.

Republican Assemblyman Patterson represents the 23rd Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes communities in Fresno and Tulare County.

AB 1556 would make department heads civilly liable for knowingly submitting false, misleading or inaccurate reports to the Legislature. They could also face a civil penalty of up to $20,000.

“The misrepresentation of facts or outright lies about a billion dollar project like high speed rail hurts the taxpayers of California and can no longer be tolerated by this legislature,” Assemblyman Patterson said. “The buck stops with the department head.”

An October 2015 Los Angeles Times story shed light on a 2013 Parsons Brinckerhoff report projected a 31% cost increase to build an initial segment from Burbank to Merced and an overall 5% increase in the full Los Angeles to San Francisco system yet the Authority used a lower cost estimate when it issued its 2014 business plan to the Legislature four months later.

The “Newsmkaer of the Day” is heard every weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 AM.