Assembly Approves $4.5 Billion In California High-Speed Rail Funding

SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — The California Assembly has approved legislation authorizing about $4.5 billion in state bond funding for a high-speed rail system backed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Lawmakers approved SB1029 on a 51-27 vote Thursday afternoon, with Republicans opposing it.

The bill would pave the way for California to begin selling $2.6 billion in voter-approved bonds. It allocates another $1.9 billion for regional rail improvements.

If the Senate also approves the same legislation Friday, California could tap $3.2 billion in federal grants to start construction of the first segment in the Central Valley.

KCBS’ Bob Butler Reports:

Democrats say a bullet train would put California on the cutting edge and bring relief to its strained transportation network. Republicans called it a boondoggle that will further hurt the state’s faltering economy.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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