Several dozen Santa Clarita residents met recently with Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) and Assemblyman Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) in Canyon Country to discuss issues ranging from the High Speed Rail Project to mandatory vaccines.

Both Lackey and Wilk expressed their opposition to the proposed High Speed Rail project. “The High Speed Rail has completely changed from when it was proposed to the people,” Lackey said. “The costs are huge … the money is not there … and the entire project is a sad circumstance we are dealing with.”

Wilk said he is “adamantly opposed” to the High Speed Rail project, noting that when the idea was put forward, “… it was going to cost $45 billion for the whole project. Now it’s up to $68 billion.”

Wilk said that when the project was introduced, it would take about 2 hours and 40 minutes to travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles. He cited a recent study that indicated that it may take as long as 4 hours and 10 minutes. “It was supposed to cost about $50 per ticket, and now it’s up to $81 per ticket, and we know [ticket fare] is going to continue to climb.”

On the vaccination issue, SB 277 was passed in June and mandates that school-aged students receive specific immunizations and eliminates exemptions due to personal beliefs. One woman at the meeting told Wilk that her children cannot go to school in Santa Clarita because they are missing two vaccinations.

“When I went in and studied the bill, it’s not about public health. It’s about robbing people of their individual choice, and now we’re going to be banning kids from going to school that are healthy, which is ridiculous,” Wilk said. “Kids are going to be interacting (in the community). To me, it was the grossest overreach of government power I’ve seen in my three years up there in Sacramento.”

Lackey said parents should not have to make a choice between practicing their faith and sending their children to public schools. “We should not in any way tell someone that because they’re practicing their faith, that they are no longer eligible for public education.”