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Brown on Lawmakers’ High-Speed Rail Vote: “Thank God We Got It”

California Governor Jerry Brown is praising the legislature for permitting the sale of billions of dollars in voter-approved state bonds for high-speed rail.

California Governor Jerry Brown is praising the legislature for permitting the sale of billions of dollars in voter-approved state bonds for high-speed rail.

Brown spoke at an event in Oakland Monday after Democratic lawmakers won passage last week by a single vote.

A recent Field Poll suggests some Californians would be less likely to support Brown’s sales and income tax initiative this fall if high-speed rail moves forward. Those voters appeared to be skeptical about spending so much money on high-speed rail during a budget crisis. But Governor Brown said it’s a “zero-sum game.”

“We either transfer some money from the very highest and wealthiest taxpayers to the schools and to local law enforcement or we don’t," said Brown, "and I think that case stands on its own regardless of what is done in other areas.”

Brown also said lawmakers must pass comprehensive pension reform before the November election – and the plan Democrats have proposed doesn’t save enough money.

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