As expected, the Assembly has approved $5.8 billion to start construction of the Central Valley portion of the state's high-speed rail project. The vote was 51-27. Oh and the proponents worked to secure the support of Los Angeles and San Francisco legislators by adding another $2 billion to improve light rail in those regions. So in order to try to wrangle support for the $68 billion (estimated) project, they are going to spend even more money, not less.
The state Senate has taken up the bill and may vote tomorrow. As The Sacramento Bee reports, it's still not clear if there are enough Democratic votes in the Senate to move it forward:
Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, urged lawmakers to recall the work of previous generations of Californians, who built the state water project and its highway and university systems.
"We have issues, in terms of budget problems," he said. "Does that mean that we stop looking to the future?"