Among Republicans in opposition was Sen. Tony Strickland, who criticized a willingness by the Legislature to reduce spending elsewhere while finding money for high-speed rail.
"I think this is a colossal fiscal train wreck for California," he said.
The bill was introduced with little notice following the 4th of July holiday and passed on Friday to avoid the news cycle, I believe. The $8 billion is intended to fund the first 130 miles of track from the bustling urban centers of Madera to Bakersfield. From the LATimes:
The project had become increasingly controversial as Democratic senators from around San Francisco and Los Angeles asked why construction was was set to start with a 130-mile stretch in the Central Valley.
"The ridership is not in the Central Valley," said Sen. Leland Yee (D- San Francisco), speaking Thursday night. "The ridership is along the 101 corridor," referring to the U.S. highway stretching from the Bay Area to Los Angeles.
What's the over/under on the number of miles that actually get built for $8 billion? My guess is 22 miles. How did I arrive at this figure? I took the cost per mile and multiplied by three because its a government project. Then I remembered that I am a natural born optimist, so I multiplied that result by two.