5:12pm

Fri July 6, 2012
Transportation

High-Speed Rail passes California Legislature

The California State Senate today narrowly authorized funding for the nation’s biggest high-speed rail plan.

This vote authorizes initial funding for the bullet train, with construction set to begin in the Central Valley. It also provides close to $2 billion to upgrade Caltrain, and commuter rail lines in Los Angeles.

The senate vote was mostly along party lines, with Democrats supporting the plan and Republicans opposing, but several powerful Democrats crossed the aisle, including the chair of the transportation committee, Mark DeSaulnier.

Republicans began the session with several procedural motions to avoid the vote all together, but even Democrats who eventually voted no, opposed that conclusion. After lengthy floor speeches about fiscal responsibility and investing in our future, Democrats got the 21 votes they needed, and not one more. The final tally was 21-16.

The Democrats who voted against the plan are: Mark DeSaulnier, Joe Simitian, Alan Lowenthal and Fran Pavley.

The plan passed the Assembly on Thursday, 51-27.

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