Huff Blasts Senate Approval of High-Speed Rail Bill

Sen. Bob Huff questions the priorities of his Democratic colleagues, who voted 21-16 to approval initial funding for high-speed rail.

The state Senate today voted by a small margin to approve moving ahead with initial funding for a $68 million high-speed rail project, reported the Sacramento Bee.

The vote to move ahead with the hotly debated project was close as expected, with the Senate green lighting the bill 21-16.  No Republican senators voted in favor of the Senate Bill 1029, the newspaper reported.

The Senate vote follows the Assembly's approval of its version of the bill Thursday on a 51-27 vote. The legislation calls for $5.8 billion for construction in the Central Valley, $2.6 billion in rail bond funds and $3.2 billion in federal funding. Those funds are tied to close to $2 billion to be used to revamp regional rail systems and connect them to high-speed rail.

Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) criticized Democratic lawmakers for pushing for high-speed rail when the state faces tough economic times, adding that he didn't feel they shared the same priorities as most Californians.

“On the same week we have new survey results that highlight the link between voters' declining support for new taxes should High Speed Rail be forced upon us, the legislative Democrats have done precisely that—forced High Speed Rail upon us," Huff said in a statement. The voters want a do-over vote on High Speed Rail, but the Democrats blocked legislation for a new HSR ballot measure."

Senate President Darrell Steinberg (D) said before the vote that the bill would boost the state's economy and improve existing rail lines.

“The new proposal before the Senate today is now greater and more immediate than just a Central Valley high-speed rail line. This new proposal, a Transit Modernization Plan, will improve, upgrade, and prepare California’s major urban areas for 21st Century mass transit demands while creating tens of thousands of jobs in areas that need them most," he said in a statement. 

“California’s Transit Modernization Plan will have a near-term dramatic improvement on urban commuting experiences in Greater Los Angeles, the Bay Area, the Capital Corridor, and San Diego."

Gayle M. Montgomery July 13, 2012 at 07:14 AM
He Huffs and he puffs, and I wish he would simply blow himself out of Sacramento.
Gem City Dude Man July 13, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Since the Republicans have no clue on ideas here is one you can consider. What state has no deficit and is the only state that has its own bank? North Dakota! Try some real leadership and get out from under the rule of the crooks on Wall Street and start our own state bank. But first read the Web Of Debt by Ellen Brown. Of course Mr. Huff would not want to support any plan that would not support the continued corruption that his Republican special interest supporters have weighing over his head. Citizens United has made these politicians the lackeys and partners in the Corporate Fascist's take over of the government. Don't expect any real move for change from these Anti-Americans!
Gayle M. Montgomery July 13, 2012 at 11:28 PM
You cannot really compare North Dakota to California. Yes, the Republicans have no clue, but this is an unfair comparison. North Dakota, Population 683,932 California, Population 37,691,912 The total area of North Dakota is 70,703 sq mi (183,121 sq km), comprising 69,300 sq mi (179,487 sq km) of land and 1,403 sq mi (3,634 sq km) of inland water. Shaped roughly like a rectangle, North Dakota has three straight sides and one irregular border on the E. Its maximum length E-W is about 360 mi (580 km), its extreme width N-S about 210 mi (340 km). The total area of California is 158,706 sq mi (411,048 sq km), of which land takes up 156,299 sq mi (404,814 sq km) and inland water 2,407 sq mi (6,234 sq km). California extends about 350 mi (560 km) E-W; its maximum N-S extension is 780 mi (1,260 km).
Gem City Dude Man July 14, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Oh yes you can! Your argument has already been used and was blown out of the water. Read the book and learn the truth. Your reference to geography has nothing to do with the monopoly Wall Street has on the banking system and the economy. In fact, that may be the biggest single factor that is bringing our country down is the monopolies American Corporations have on our government and thus our nation's economic policies. Citizens United and the Super Paks that has come out of it is serving notice just how powerful and how much control the big money of these corporations have over our government. These monopolies of power has also been used to destroy the balance of government power. Too much government power has been moved from local and state levels where it is closer to the people and moved to Washington away from the people, Which is exactly what these corporations want.
Gayle M. Montgomery July 14, 2012 at 05:16 PM
After reading posts on the Patch for days on end, I am more convinced than ever that this nation needs a full mental health overhaul and check ups for mental health should be required at least once every two years. The paranoia, narcissism, and pyachopathy that pervades some of the arguments across the topics is getting worse, and, in many instances. We have lost the concept of civility on civilization.


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