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Editorial

Senator Romero Won’t Support Anything Without Guarantees for SGV

11:00 AM PDT on July 2, 2008

Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero is taking a stand.  Romero tells the Times that if she doesn't get she wants for San Gabriel Valley, at no extra cost to her constituents, she'll vote to make sure all of LA County is denied the opportunity to to vote to increase everyone's transit options.  The Senator may have the muscle to back up her threat as AB 2321, the legislation authorizing the sales tax to be on the fall ballot after Metro's approval, still needs a full vote of the State Senate.

Romero's position doesn't make sense from a transportation stand point.  She's basically opposed to the sales tax measure because Metro won't guarantee a Gold Line extension without the funding from the sales tax.  While her argument that the $328 million set aside from sales tax proceeds won't extend the Gold Line as far as it needs to go has some merit; her argument that Metro should guarantee more funds for an extension without the sales tax rests on the argument that San Gabriel Valley residents would be more likely to support a sales tax increase if they have nothing to gain from it doesn't make a lot of sense.  After all, would you vote for a tax increase that has no benefits for you?

Have a headache yet?  If not, Romero also tells the Times that she opposes congestion pricing and Metro should approve it's plan for transit for the valley without knowing whether it will have the $213 million in federal funds.  Her argument?  SGV residents shouldn't be "forced" to pay tolls because there is a lack of reliable transit options.  Last I checked, which was right before I wrote this post, most of that $213 would be going to provide increased transit options for the effected corridors, including the San Gabriel Valley. 

So let's sum this up.  She can't support the sales tax proposal without a guarantee that she gets what she wants without the sales tax proposal.  She also opposes spending hundreds of millions of federal dollars to manage lanes and increase transit because Metro hasn't spent enough money to increase transit. 

This kind of grandstanding isn't new to Romero.  In the past she's slammed Metro for not lobbying hard enough for eastside projects after doing nothing to stop the governor's raid on transportation funds.  I guess the good news is that if she's as effective opposing the sales tax ballot proposition as she was the governor's budget or lobbying for local projects AB 2321 should pass the Senate easily.

Photo: Barack Obama/Flickr

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