Earlier this morning, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer held a public hearing on Los Angeles’ needs from the federal government in terms of transportation dollars. Streetsblog will have complete coverage of the meeting tomorrow. However, the testimony of Assembly Speaker Karen Bass raised a new concern with me. Is A.B. 2321, the legislation authorizing Measure R to appear on the fall ballot, in trouble again?
Bass ended her testimony with a hope that the legislature and governor can agree on a budget soon, but failing at that she hoped that Senator Boxer could help pressure Governor Schwarzenegger to allow Metro’s sales tax proposal to appear on this fall’s ballot,
This gave me some pause, after all, a lot of my recent writing has been based on the idea that Measure R was nearly a lock for the ballot. But if the Assembly Speaker was nervous about the fate of the legislation, then some more research was in order.
Good news, if I’m overly optimistic that Measure R is headed to the ballot, than at least I’m not alone. After a conversation with Assemblyman Mike Feuer’s office, here’s the status of the legislation:
A.B. 2321, already ammended and passed by the Senate, was passed by the Assembly on August 31st. That means that the Governor has thirty days, until 11:59 P.M. on Tuesday, September 30, to veto the legislation or Measure R heads to the ballot. If the Governor takes no action, the legislation heads to the ballot.
So what about the Governor’s veto threat? Currently, leadership in the Assembly and Senate are holding all legislation that has been passed so that the Governor doesn’t have to act out on his threat. Until the Governor’s Office receives legislation, he cannot veto it. A.B. 2321 is one of over 700 pieces of legislation that is currently being held.
Given Schwarzenegger’s recent public statements about the rights of voters to decide their own funding issues through ballot propositions, it’s almost certain that he won’t block A.B. 2321 assuming relations between him and the legislature have thawed. However, until he signs the bill, or September 30 passes without a veto, the fate of Measure R still rests in Sacramento.