Feuer’s Funding Bills Head to Hearings Next Week (Updated)
The First Step to Getting This Funded Happens Next Week in Sacramento
West Los Angeles Assemblyman Mike Feuer has emerged as a strong advocate of empowering L.A. City and County to raise its own funds to fix the current transportation funding crisis. Frustrated by the state’s chronic inability to fund either Metro’s operating needs or capacity enhancement projects, Feuer introduced legislation to make it easier for voters to approve new funding sources for transit.
With hearings scheduled on three of these bills next Monday, the legislature should be able to pass Feuer’s legislation in time to lower the voter approval threshold for new transportation dedicated fees before this fall’s elections. It should be noted that none of these bills re-dedicate existing funds, but require a new funding source dedicated directly to transportation in Los Angeles County.
From Feuer’s website, here is a description of the bills that will be heard on
ACA 10: Constitutional Amendment to Lower Bond Vote Threshold
This Constitutional Amendment will lower the vote threshold for the approval of bonds (and any tax increase associated with these bonds) for local transportation projects from a 2/3 vote of the people to a 55% vote of the people modeled off the language in Proposition 39 from 2000 for the education bonds.
AB 2321: Clean Up Language to SB 314
SB 314 (Murray, 2003) authorized the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to impose an additional percent sales tax in Los Angeles County upon the approval of the voters in that county. This bill will amend the provision that the tax would be limited to a 6 ½ year period to a 30 year period and allows the extra revenue generated from the sales tax to go towards MTA’s Long Range Transportation Plan.
AB 2558: Carbon Emission Fee
This bill would authorize a carbon emissions fee (county-wide or perhaps regionalsubject to voter approval). MTA would decide whether the fee would be assessed at the pump or through the Vehicle License Fee. The revenue generated from the fee would go to air pollution and congestion alleviation programs.
Not surprisingly, this package has proved popular with local government bodies. The Metro Board passed a resolution supporting Feuer’s bills at their monthly meeting last week and the Los Angeles City Council somehow found time in their packed schedule to voice support last Friday as well.