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California Senate Approves $68B High-Speed Rail

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Steve Large Steve Large
Steve anchors the news on CBS13 on the weekends and reports during the...
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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It’s a vision into the future, a bullet train connecting Northern and Southern California.

State lawmakers took a giant leap into this future Friday.

“Risk can be measured in many different ways,” said Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).

Steinberg got the measure passed with the slimmest possible margin. One vote.

He spoke just after the victory, putting into context of how the project compares to others in California history.

“The state water project, which the governor has said you can’t do it, it’s too expensive. Back when his father was governor,” said Steinberg.

Now, at $68 billion, California has the beginnings of the largest transportation infrastructure project in the nation’s history.

Framed as environmentally friendly, proponents call it a jobs package.

California has a 10 percent unemployment rate. The construction will add 450,000 jobs to the state over the next 30 years.

“The important thing is we need to put Californians back to work and we need to do it as soon as possible,” said Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles).

But critics say the plan will be a colossal waste of money.

It’s too extravagant and that it will tear communities apart with new lines.

“This is not the time in my mind to be starting the first leg of the bullet train,” said Sen. Ted Gaines (R-Roseville).

“I just didn’t think this was the right plan, for the right place, at the right time,” said Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto).

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