The State Assembly has voted to fund the first phase of the high-speed rail project.
It authorizes more than $4 billion in state bond funding for the project for the first 130-mile stretch from Madera to Bakersfield.
Republicans say the project will hurt the state's economy. "Essentially that's $330 million a year for the next 30 years to pay for the a project where we really have no clue where the rest of the money's coming from," said Republican Assemblyman David Valadao of Hanford.
Democrats meanwhile say the project will create thousands of jobs state wide. "High-speed rail is our best opportunity to put people in the Valley back to work and change the course of our economy," said Democrat Assemblyman Henry T. Perea.
The project still needs to get the go-ahead from the State Senate.