Initiative Launched To Protect CA Transportation Funds

CA's chronic budget deficit has taken its toll on transportation funding, be it public transit operations or fixing potholes. An initiative has been launched to prevent diversion of transportation funds just as the Gov. proposed another scheme.

Shortly after Gov. Schwarzenegger announced a plan to swap the sales tax on gasoline for an excise tax - partly to circumvent a court ruling that prevented him from draining public transit funds, a new and diverse coalition announced plans to launch an initiative to prevent future diversions of transportation funds.

"The League of California Cities, California Transit Association and other organizations (including the California Alliance for Jobs), have launched an initiative aimed at stopping state lawmakers from raiding transportation funds and other locally dedicated revenues to cover California's chronic budget shortfalls.

The coalition is collecting signatures for a proposed November ballot measure that would close any loopholes in the law that have allowed billions of dollars - much of it in sales taxes on gasoline - to be diverted from local agencies in recent years."

From LA Times: Schwarzenegger's plan to again raid transit funds angers rider advocates:
"Mass transit boosters reacted angrily Wednesday to news that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to tap public transportation funds again in an effort to balance California's budget.

The governor's latest plan, a complex gas-tax swap that officials familiar with the plan said would shrink transit funds by as much as $1 billion, could trigger another round of route closures and fare hikes for buses and rail lines across the state, transit advocates said."

Thanks to Catherine Cecchi

Full Story: Coalition fighting diversion of funds: State takes money to fix budget holes

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