The Assembly vote went along party lines. But Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg knows he'll have to convince a handful of Democrats who question the project's route, cost and ridership estimates:
Steinberg: "This is a very tight and tough vote."
The California High-Speed Rail Authority originally asked for $2.7 billion to build the project's first phase in the Central Valley. But the package put forth by Democratic legislative leaders also includes billions more for regional rail projects in Northern and Southern California. High-Speed Rail Board Chair Dan Richard says the goal is…
Richard: "…to move away from this notion of kind of a slick train and really look at building a modern, 21st-century rail system for California."
Richard says the project would effectively die without legislative approval this week.