California lawmakers approved billions of dollars Friday in construction financing for the initial segment of the nation’s first dedicated high-speed rail line connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The move marked a major political victory for Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and the Obama administration, which have promoted bullet trains as job generators and clean transportation alternatives.
The bill authorizes the state to begin selling $4.5 billion in voter-approved bonds that includes $2.6 billion to build an initial 130-mile stretch of the high-speed rail line in the Central Valley. That will allow the state to collect another $3.2 billion in federal funding that could have been rescinded if lawmakers failed to act Friday.
“The Legislature took bold action today that gets Californians back to work and puts California out in front once again,” Brown said in a statement.
Am I missing something? Isn’t the state busted flat? Didn’t Stockton just declare bankruptcy?
The first segment of the line will run from Madera to Bakersfield. The final cost of the completed project from Los Angeles to San Francisco would be $68 billion.
Republicans blasted the Senate decision, citing the state’s ongoing budget problems.
“It’s unfortunate that the majority would rather spend billions of dollars that we don’t have for a train to nowhere than keep schools open and harmless from budget cuts,” Sen. Tom Harman, R-Huntington Beach, said in a statement.
Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Granite Bay, said the project would push California over a fiscal cliff.
“It will require endless subsidies and will blast a massive hole into our budget,” Gaines said in a statement.
Dan Richard, chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, which is managing the project, said California would have lost billions of dollars in federal aid if the Senate fails to pass the bill before adjourning Friday for a monthlong recess. California entered a contract that called for the federal government to provide money for building the Central Valley segment if the state also put up its share, he said.
California was able to secure more federal aid than expected after Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin turned down money.
Because they have shame?
But that explains it: we all own a share of California’s choo-choo. I got dibs on Bakersfield!
I just made mention in the post below of a make-believe land where the rules of physics and logic do not apply. Turns out it’s California!
The Democrat-led state Senate voted 21 to 13 to approve the California Trust Act, dubbed by supporters as the “anti-Arizona” bill. It blocks local police from referring a detainee to immigration officials for deportation unless that person has been convicted of a violent or serious felony.
“Today’s vote signals to the nation that California cannot afford to be another Arizona,” Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a Democrat who sponsored the measure, said in a statement. …
The measure seeks to create a national model to counter what backers say is racial profiling inherent in a part of Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigration that was allowed to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court last week.
[I]n all of their self-imagined righteousness, California is all about winning the popularity contest, and they’re openly declaring that they’re going to pretty much sit back and all but invite illegal immigrants to come find safe haven in their state.
California, I might add, is struggling beneath an estimated $16 billion deficit for 2012.
No, you silly conservative, we are! It’s ours. It’s broke and we own it!
Like Greece, France, and the rest of the deluded socialist world, California took one look the world through sober eyes and said “Spark up another spliff, Cheech. We’re gettin’ high.”