Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., have introduced a bill that would provide up to $8 billion of private-activity bonds for high-speed rail projects, as well as create a new category of tax-credit bonds to further encourage rail development.

The High-Speed Rail for America Act of 2008 was introduced Thursday and, if passed, would allow states to issue tax-exempt private-activity bonds for the projects outside of their PAB volume caps. The bill also would authorize the issuance of over $15 billion of the qualified rail bonds, a new type of tax-credit bond.

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