Steinberg Statement after Senate Approves High Speed Rail Funding
The State Senate has voted 21 – 16 to approve SB 1029 to begin the financing and construction of California’s High Speed Rail system which obtains $3.3 billion in federal grants and includes $1.9 billion in funding to modernize and upgrade the state’s existing rail systems in major urban areas. Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg issued the following statement after today’s floor vote:
“The State Senate has shown the vision for which the Golden State is known. Years from now, what we did today will be seen as a turning point in California, as we said yes to hope, yes to progress and yes to the future.
“In the near-term, the plan we have adopted today will improve and upgrade our existing mass transit in major urban areas, while creating tens of thousands of new jobs in areas where they are needed the most. At the same time, there will be enormous benefits for commuters in the Bay Area, the greater Los Angeles area, San Diego and the Capital Corridor.
“As I’ve said all along, while we acknowledge the risk in going forward, there would be even greater risk to do nothing. These projects will bring an infusion of energy and dollars to create sorely need jobs. At the same time, the legislation calls for strong oversight to make sure the money is spent as efficiently as possible. That is what we intend to do.
“In the end, my colleagues understood that what is difficult and unpopular in the short run often becomes a point of pride and progress years later. California is on the move and we are getting things done.”