Governor Jerry Brown Signs High Speed Rail Measure

July 18, 2012 - Thousands of Good Construction Jobs Coming!  Governor Jerry Brown made it official today, when he signed legislation authorizing the nation’s first investment in high speed rail, bringing thousands of construction jobs to California starting next year. The project also promises to jumpstart the economy, modernize and upgrade transportation in California, and provide great benefits to the state’s environmental quality. The Senate and Assembly approved the measure earlier this month.

This is truly historic news. It is a bold investment in California’s infrastructure and in job creation, following the steepest decline in construction employment since the Great Depression. Public works investment was the key to America’s recovery then, and now this investment will fuel needed growth in construction and trigger another recovery today.

The action also protects California’s receipt of $3.3 billion in federal funds for the project, which were threatened to be withdrawn if state’s commitment to proceed was not forthcoming this month. Supporters point out that every $1 billion in infrastructure produces a $1.5 billion effect in gross domestic product, and creates between 15,000 to 20,000 new jobs, which means upwards of 100,000 construction jobs are coming.

California’s high speed rail model will link Los Angeles and the Bay Area through the Central Valley, and ultimately extend to San Diego and Sacramento. It is based on successful plans implemented in Europe and Asia, where high speed rail has become the transportation mode of choice between population centers 100 to 500 miles apart, fitting California perfectly.

This is the culmination of a long team effort by a unified coalition of supporters, including the advocates for organized labor. To symbolize the importance of high speed rail to all parts of the state, the governor signed the legislation first in Los Angeles, then later in San Francisco.

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