Candidate Schwarzenegger, Transit Rider
As details of the state budget, that Governor Schwarzenegger has threatened to veto before it has been passed, emerge a familar trend emerged. Continuing a proud tradition in California politics, the proposed budget balanced the budget by taking $1 billion earmarked for transit and transportation. While this will even the ledger for one year, it does nothing to fix the structural deficit in Sacramento that leads to this yearly budget drama. Metro spokesperson Marc Littman tells the Bottleneck Blog that $89 million would come from funds formerly dedicated to Metro with another $13 million coming from other local transit agencies.
The budget showdown in Sacramento should be a major cause of concern for transportation advocates. Even if the legislature has the votes to override the Governor’s veto and pass a budget that robs transit agencies of needed funds in a year of record transit usage statewide, Schwarzenegger has vowed to veto hundreds of pieces of passed legislation that could include AB 2321, the legislation allowing Measure R to be on the fall ballot, and A.B. 1358, The Complete Streets Legislation.
Alternately, failure to override the Governor’s veto could well lead to the Governor vetoing the legislation anyway as he’s repeateldy promised to do to all legislation unless a budget is passed he would sign.
Either way, California’s transit users will be losers in the budget season again. Is it any wonder so many LA County legislators want to raise the funds needed for transit projects through a local tax?
Photo: Contra Costa Times