Senate Committee Passes Ammended Sales Tax Measure

The Bottleneck Blog reports that the logjam holding up A.B. 2321 was broken earlier today when the Committee moved an amended motion to the Senate floor.  Because the amendments don’t change the list of funded projects, the measure won’t require a new vote by the Metro Board of Directors.  It seems Metro’s sales tax measure is one step closer to being on this November’s ballot.  Sort of.

Because of language changes at the last minute needed to win the approval of Senator Jenny Oropeza, a Senator and member of the Appropriations Committee who has long pushed for a Green Line extension to LAX, the bill has to be approved by the Senate and go back to the Assembly before going to the Governor’s desk.  It seems nothing can be simple with this sales tax plan.

Nevertheless, both A.B. 2321 Author Mike Feuer and Oropeza seem content with the compromise so let’s enjoy this moment of political harmony.  After all, even if everything goes smoothly in Sacramento, the measure still needs the support of 2/3’s of participating voters on election day.  With opposition promised in both San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Valley, we still have a long way to go.

  • Don’t forget opposition by the mighty bicycle, pedestrian, and livable streets lobbies!!

  • “Don’t forget opposition by the mighty bicycle, pedestrian, and livable streets lobbies!!”

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    Count me as one of many people in the livable street lobby, such as it is, who will enthusiastically support this tax.

  • Maybe the beginnings of an interesting debate? From what I understand, in Alameda County, there was a similar proposal for a 1/2 cent transportation sales tax that included nothing guaranteed for bikes/peds and many of the advocates opposed the tax and it failed. Two years later, the agency folks got some religion and put a new tax on the ballot that guaranteed 10% for bikes and peds, and this tax passed.

    So…personally, I can really see both sides of this. We desperately need funding for rail, buses, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in LA County so there’s a very compelling case for this tax. On the other hand, there’s billions in there to widen the 710, the 5, to build a freeway tunnel in South Pasadena, for sprawl-inducing rail lines such as the Gold Line extension. And there’s really no much at all in there for more and better bus service, for pedestrian improvements and for bicycle lanes/paths/boulevards, all three of which could probably pull far more out of their cars than even the better-conceived rail lines are likely to, at least on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

    So, I don’t know. I think if the “alternative” transit crowd were to get organized and oppose this in a prinicipled fashion, maybe we could get something better down the road. But if not, maybe it’s better to just grow the pot and continue the fight over the allocation at a later date…

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