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Assembly Votes To Delay High Speed Rail Bond Measure Until 2008

Sacramento, CA — The state Assembly has voted to sidetrack a nearly $10 billion high-speed rail bond measure again, despite warnings that the delay could jeopardize environmental studies done on the project.

Lawmakers voted 44 to 11 Friday to send the Senate a bill by Assemblyman Alberto Torrico of Fremont that would move the bond measure from the November 2006 ballot to the November ballot in 2008.

Most of the bond funds would help pay for a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

It would be the first leg of an 800-mile system that would also reach San Diego and Sacramento with trains running at top speeds of more than 200 miles per hour.

Lawmakers initially placed the measure on the November 2004 ballot, then postponed the vote until 2006 because of concerns that the state´s persistent budget deficits would discourage voters from supporting the proposal.

Torrico cited those concerns as the reason for another delay.