SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A critical vote is expected to take place this week in Sacramento as California legislators will decide on whether to issue almost $3 billion in state bonds for the high-speed rail project.

Dan Richard, chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said that concerns from legislators that the money for the project is too focused on the Central Valley portion are unfounded.

“This vote is about more than high-speed rail. It’s about an integrated rail program of more than $10 billion in investments, much of that outside the Central Valley, including electrification of Caltrain and BART car modernization,” he said.

KCBS, CBS 5 and SF Chronicle Insider Phil Matier:

Richard said the legislature must act quickly for construction on the project to start next year. It is still unclear exactly when the state Assembly and Senate will vote on the state bonds for the project.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

It is also still unclear if there are enough votes to pass the bill in the Senate, as some are calling for more of the early funding to be devoted toward projects in Los Angeles and San Francisco, rather than the Central Valley.

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

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