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10 Hours Later, Senate Committee Tables Sales Tax Proposal

7:48 PM PDT on August 4, 2008

Assemblyman_Mike_Feuer.jpgBefore it can head to the ballot this fall, Metro's proposed half cent sales tax  measure needs to be approved by both the State Senate and the LA County Board of Supervisors.  Today,  it was widely expected that the  measure would pass the Senate  Appropriations Committee, but instead, after a 10 hour hearing that discussed issues ranging from ocean fisheries conservation to disaster relief, the Committee voted to  suspend their vote on A.B. 2321 until Thursday because there "were still a few issues that needed to be ironed out."

While the committee is planning on voting on the issue again on Thursday, still leaving just enough time for the full Senate to pass it before the August 10th deadline for it to be on the ballot, today's vote is bad news.  Nobody rose in opposition to the legislation so whatever "issues remain" in this 11th hour are probably more back room deals to placate a vocal minority that has hijacked the debate over this transit plan.  Invariably such deals will make the proposal weaker than it was before.  Remember the last round of wheeling and dealing increased road widening projects' portion of the pot from 15% to 20% at the expense of Local Return.

The two minute presentation of Mike Feuer's legislation did have one highlight.  During public comment and again as he went to his seat the Assemblyman's phone went off.  There is no word on whether it was a Metro Board Member wondering what the hell was going on. 

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors is planning on voting on the legislation at tomorrow morning's meeting which is scheduled to begin at 9:30.  Hopefully, they can reach a conclusion before dinnertime.

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