Bill to help Metro resume receiving federal funds is approved by state Senate

A bill is making progress today through the state Legislature that would help — at least for now — preserve $3.6 billion in federal funding for Metro, as well as millions of dollars for other transit agencies in California. (For more background, please see this post from earlier this week).

The bill exempts transit workers from California’s pension reform law (known as PEPRA) for 15 months. The U.S. Department of Labor has said that pension reform violates the collective bargaining rights of transit workers, thereby disqualifying many transit agencies in the state from receiving federal funding.

Here are the three updates thus far today from Metro’s government relations staff:

PEPRA/13(C) Update

AB 1222 (Bloom) was unanimously approved by the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee earlier this morning. AB 1222 is the measure which provides a 15 month exemption from the state’s pension reform law. A number of labor unions spoke in support of the bill along with a number of transit agencies from around the state. Metro’s state advocacy team is working to move the bill through the legislative process and one of our representatives spoke in support of the bill this morning. The bill will next be considered in the Senate Appropriations Committee and then be considered on the Senate Floor. These two votes are expected to take place later today.

PEPRA/13(C) Update

Moments ago the Senate Appropriations Committee approved AB 1222 (Bloom) on a 5-1 vote. The measure now heads to the Senate floor for consideration by the full State Senate.

PEPRA/13(C) Update

AB 1222 (Bloom) just passed the State Senate on a 32-6 vote. The measure will now be transmitted to the Assembly for consideration.