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Gov. Jerry Brown defends high-speed rail in State of State speech

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In his State of the State address Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown promised a revised business plan for California’s embattled high-speed rail program, calling again for public investment in the project.

In a speech touting his record on clean energy and tough environmental regulations, Brown said the train project was vital to the state’s future, defending it against critics who have called it too expensive and unnecessary.

“If you believe that California will continue to grow, as I do, and that millions more people will be living in our state, this is a wise investment,” he said.

Unlike last year’s State of the State speech, which focused on austerity and fiscal discipline, Brown championed major public investment in new transportation and water projects. “Those who believe that California’s in decline will naturally shrink back from such a strenuous undertaking,” he said. “I understand that feeling but I don’t share it.”

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He also called for a new water project he said will “ensure water for 25 million Californians and for millions of acres of farmland.”

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-- Anthony York in Sacramento


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