California lawmakers gave final approval to a high-speed rail plan on Friday in a make-or-break vote for $8 billion in funding to start construction on a 130-mile (210-km) section of track through the state's central agricultural heartland.
The 21-16 vote in the state Senate was a substantial win for Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, who says a bullet train network will boost job creation and provide an alternative to car and plane travel in the country's most populous state.
Unions also lobbied hard for the network, the most ambitious public works project to date in California. Republicans opposed it, saying the $68 billion project would be a massive financial burden that could jeopardize state spending on basic services such as education and healthcare.
Elections | Economic Crisis | Jobs | TSA | Limbaugh | Fun Stuff
California approves high speed rail
The Republicans don't like it because it means jobs and money in the pockets of the middle class rather than the 0.1%. Working families terrify Republicans, thus their consistent voting record.