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California bullet train up for contentious vote

10:40 AM, Jul 1, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown's ambitious plan to start building the nation's first dedicated high-speed rail line is set for a pivotal vote in the Legislature this week.

But some lawmakers are still skeptical about spending billions first in the Central Valley.

The governor is pushing lawmakers to authorize $2.7 billion in voter-approved state bonds. It's for construction on the first 130-mile stretch of a bullet train from Madera to Bakersfield.

Brown says the state has to act fast in order to capture billions of dollars in additional federal support.

While Democratic leaders support the bullet train, they say it faces a tight vote, particularly in the Senate.

Some lawmakers have suggested using the bonds to improve existing rail systems within more densely populated areas such as Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Associated Press

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