The new high-speed rail business plan is aimed squarely at California lawmakers. That's because in order for the project's first phase to break ground late this year, the next state budget must include the sale of $2.7 billion in voter-approved bonds. Republicans are united in opposition. And even some Democrats are skeptical, like Senator Joe Simitian:
Simitian: "We're essentially being asked to approve a new plan for billions in expenditures on roughly six-to-eight weeks' notice. I think that's an awfully tough timeline. I don't think a decision of this magnitude ought to be rushed."
The new plan will likely focus not just on the first phase in the Central Valley - but also on regional projects in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. The state hopes that will get the entire system built more quickly - and drive the cost down from the current $100 billion estimate.