Politics

California High-Speed Rail Plan Faces Tough Vote

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Artist's conception of a California high-speed rail train. (California High-Speed Rail Authority)

Artist’s conception of a California high-speed rail train. (California High-Speed Rail Authority)

SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown’s ambitious plan to start building the nation’s first dedicated high-speed rail line is set for a pivotal vote in the Legislature this week.

But some lawmakers are still skeptical about spending billions first in the Central Valley.

The governor is pushing lawmakers to authorize $2.7 billion in voter-approved state bonds. It’s for construction on the first 130-mile stretch of a bullet train from Madera to Bakersfield.

Brown says the state has to act fast in order to capture billions of dollars in additional federal support.

While Democratic leaders support the bullet train, they say it faces a tight vote, particularly in the Senate.

Some lawmakers have suggested using the bonds to improve existing rail systems within more densely populated areas such as Los Angeles and San Francisco.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

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