Friday, July 6, 2012

Broke California Commits $68 Billion to "High Speed Rail"

Jerry Brown, Mark Leno, and their minions get their wish. The project had met major opposition due to the calamitous state of California's finances, but Brown tied funding of local transit to the enormous expenditure.
"California lawmakers approved billions of dollars Friday in construction financing for the first segment of what would be the nation's first dedicated high-speed rail line, eventually connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The state Senate voted 21-16 on a party-line vote after intense lobbying by Gov. Jerry Brown, Democratic leaders and labor groups.
The bill authorizes the state to begin selling $2.6 billion in voter-approved bonds to build an initial 130-miles stretch in the Central Valley. That would allow the state to collect about $3.2 billion in federal funding that could have been rescinded if lawmakers failed to act Friday.
Critics call the bullet train a boondoggle, but supporters hailed the vote as the start of a much-needed infrastructure project. The bill also includes about $1.9 billion in funds for local rail projects.
The bill, which passed the state Assembly, now heads to the governor. The final cost of the completed project from Los Angeles to San Francisco would be $68 billion."
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

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