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SACRAMENTO - California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani (D-Livingston) on Thursday thanked President Obama and Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for their dedication and commitment to high-speed rail by allocating billions of dollars to 31 states, including California, for their projects.

"The Legislature has worked closely with the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Caltrans and other stakeholders to show just how well prepared California is to launch a high-speed train here--and today's announcement by President Obama shows that effort has paid off,” Bass said. "We hope this is only the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership between California and the federal government to make sure transportation in California and throughout the country comes into the 21st Century.”

Galgiani agreed. "California is unified behind its high-speed train project. We have gathered support from a broad coalition of groups in all geographic regions throughout the state. We are all unified in our goal of obtaining a clean, safe, interstate transportation system, as well as offering an economic boost to the state by providing Californians jobs. For every $1 billion spent on infrastructure projects for a high-speed train, jobs are created for 18,000 Californians.”

"The federal government created the Eisenhower Interstate System in 1956, the greatest public works project in history, and now they are ready to take the next step and improve interstate travel and invest in a high-speed rail system. I am pleased we have received this boost of funding and I am proud that California is one of the few states in the country who are taking the lead in developing a true high-speed rail train system,” added Galgiani.

The Obama Administration announced earlier today that California is going to receive $2,349,400,000 of the $8 billion in stimulus funding for high-speed train development under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Combined with matching state, local and private funding, the federal infusion could generate billions to help launch the initial Anaheim-to-San Francisco link in a system that eventually will stretch to 800 miles, serving most of the state's major cities.

Website of Speaker Karen Bass: www.asm.ca.gov/speaker

Website of Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani: www.asm.ca.gov/galgiani

Contact: Shannon Murphy (Bass) (916) 319-2408
Contact: Reichel Everhart (Galgiani) (916) 319-2017