Long-term money a big boost for high-speed rail

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Gov. Jerry Brown scored a big win for the $68 billion high-speed rail project this week by persuading fellow Democrats to dedicate a steady future funding source for it in the state budget.

The $108 billion general fund budget approved Sunday includes $250 million this year from the state's cap-and-trade greenhouse gas emissions fund.

More important to rail supporters is the promise of 25 percent of all future cap-and-trade revenue each year. It signals the state's investment in the beleaguered project, which has been saddled by delays and court challenges.

Rail officials believe the ongoing revenue will be enough to leverage bond borrowing and start work on new parts of the project, such as a segment connecting northern Los Angeles County to Burbank.

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