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Gordon Provides Details of High Speed Rail Bill

There's more than just High Speed Rail within the framework of Senate Bill 1029 that was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday.

According to a newsletter sent out by the office of Assemblyman Rich Gordon, Senate Bill 1029 does not encompass only the High Speed Rail but allocates funds for rail projects throughout California.

A series of statewide investments in rail infrastructure, compatible with Proposition 1A, is at the heart of the bill.

According to David Siders of the Sacramento Bee, "to gain political support for the project in the state's most densely populated areas, the administration also included $1.9 billion in state rail bond proceeds to improve urban rail systems and connect them to high-speed rail."

Two of the projects funded through SB 1029 are the electrification of CalTrain and improvements to public transit systems that include new BART cars and improvements at the Millbrae station.

"The funds for these projects are either voter-authorized and rail-specific bond revenues or dedicated federal funds," Gordon writes. "The bond funds could not be used for any other purpose other than those outlined in Proposition 1A.  Concern that the state cannot absorb the debt service on the bonds is unfounded, and the state will not have to make any significant reductions to any of the services we provide because of this debt service."

Approximately 3.2 billion dollars came from the federal government and had the Legislature failed to approve SB 1029, the funds would have been reclaimed by the federal government.

"There is much more work to be done before California sees its first high speed train," writes Gordon. "This project is far from perfect."

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