Measure on transit funding qualifies for November ballot

A measure that backers say would prevent future raids on transit funds by the State Legislature has qualified for the November ballot, according to the California Secretary of State.

After the Legislature diverted more than $4 billion in transit funding to other uses as part of its annual budgets, the California Supreme Court ruled last September that such raids are illegal. The California Transit Assn. — one of the ballot measure’s backers and a group that represents transit agencies — wants to codify that in state law to, they say, prevent future diversions.

The ballot measure would also prevent the state from borrowing local property tax funds, among other things.

Attentive readers know that the drop in state funding — along with a sour economy and decline in ridership — are among the reasons that many transit agencies in California and the rest of the nation have had to cut service in recent months.

As an agency, Metro does not take an official position on such ballot measures.

Here’s a link to the press release on the ballot measure’s website. The ballot measure will be titled the Local Taxpayer, Public Safety and Transportation Protection Act of 2010.