Senate Bill 733, which requires the High Speed Rail Authority to specifically outline in its business plan efforts to contract with and conduct outreach to California’s small business community, passed out of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee yesterday on a 6-3 vote along party lines.
“My legislation promotes California small business and local worker participation on the
largest infrastructure initiative in U.S. history, the California High Speed Rail Project,”
said Senator Curren D. Price, Jr., Chair of the Senate Business, Professions and
Economic Development Committee and staunch advocate for small businesses.
“Given the recent economic downturn, and California’s high unemployment rates
hovering at an historic 12 percent, a massive multi-billion dollar public works project like
the High Speed Rail provides an unprecedented opportunity for the state to strengthen the
core of California’s economy by expanding contract opportunities for California small
businesses which are the economic engines driving our state’s economy, and creating
jobs for local workers across the state,” Senator Price said.
The authority’s current requirement for a business plan does not specifically address a
strategy related to small business contracting and participation. This measure makes it
clear that California businesses must play a key role in the project and contracts awarded
by the authority.
Slated to begin in 2012, this multi-billion project is designed to connect the state’s urban
centers, including the Bay Area, Fresno, Bakersfield, and Los Angeles.