ASSEMBLY LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE APPROVES FEUER LEGISLATIONTO EXPEDITE L.A. COUNTY TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS
AB 1446 Authorizes L.A. County Metro to Seek Voter Approval for Extension of Existing Measure R Sales Tax for Infrastructure Projects
April 11, 2012 (Los Angeles
) – Today the Assembly Committee on Local Government approved AB 1446 byAssembly Member Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles). The measure would, with voter approval, fund Los Angeles Countyrail, highway, bus and local transportation improvement projects more quickly, jumpstarting those projects and gettingAngelenos back to work.Specifically, the bill would authorize the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to ask Countyvoters to extend the term of the Measure R sales tax authorization indefinitely. This extension would enable Metro to bond against future Measure R revenue and build transportation projects much sooner than originally contemplated,relying only on local funds.“This bill will empower L.A. County voters to jumpstart 160,000 jobs and break through traffic congestion that chokesour region,” said Feuer.“The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce strongly supports AB 1446. More transportation infrastructure is good for business – both for employers seeking to attract new employees, and for workers who want to be able to access those jobs,” said Gary Toebben, President of the Chamber. “The Chamber’s members recognize that our region urgentlyneeds jobs in order for our economy to grow again. Building and operating the rest of the Measure R rail, highway and bus projects would create thousands of new jobs. We also like the idea of having a local funding stream to build other projects in Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan.”“Construction workers, who have suffered terribly through this recession, just want the opportunity for good honestwork that will improve their communities. This bill offers that opportunity,” said Cesar Diaz, Legislative Director of theState Building and Construction Trades Council of California.In Los Angeles County, 336,000 jobs have been lost since 2007, and 582,900 people were unemployed as of October 2011. The construction industry has been hit especially hard; over 53,300 construction jobs have been lost in recentyears.In his first term as an Assembly Member, Feuer authored legislation that allowed Metro, L.A. County’s transportation planning agency, to put Measure R on the 2008 Los Angeles County ballot. Measure R asked voters to approve a 30-year one-half cent sales and use tax dedicated to construction and operation of a specified list of transportation projects.More than 67 percent of voters approved the measure, which commits approximately $40 billion to traffic relief andtransportation upgrades throughout the county over the next 30 years. These upgrades will include westward extensionof the subway and adding north/south routing to the San Fernando Valley's Orange Line bus way. AB 1446 would provide an ongoing local source of funding to build projects in Measure R and in Metro’s Long Range TransportationPlan.
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